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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

September 4, 2002


At 7:05 p.m., Chairperson Dale Shostrom called the meeting to order at the Community Center. In addition to Shostrom, members present were Keith Chambers, Joan Steele, Tom Giordano, Rob Saladoff, Jay Leighton, Terry Skibby and Joanne Krippaehne. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox and Secretary Sonja Akerman. Member Gary Foll was unable to attend the meeting.


Steele stated that on the last page of the August 7, 2002 minutes, the wording for the first sentence under Items Not On Agenda should be as follows: Steele reminded everyone to please write down in the log book the Commissioners in attendance at the Review Board meetings. Chambers also noted that in the first sentence of the last paragraph on page 1, site should be changed to sight. Krippaehne then moved and Leighton seconded to approve the August 7, 2002 minutes as corrected. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.


Replacement of Calle Guanajuato Stairway - Parks Director Ken Mickelsen and landscape architect Kerry KenCairn were in attendance to receive feedback on the proposed replacement of the Calle Guanajuato stairway, which is one of the few pedestrian connections from Calle Guanajuato to Granite Street. It was washed out during the 1997 flood and will be the last project connected with the flood to be constructed. KenCairn stated she had presented several concepts of the proposed new stairway and landscaping to the Parks Commission. She has taken these comments and will be revising and melding portions of the concepts to present the final plan at the September 23 Parks Commission meeting. She now needs Historic Commission comments to incorporate. KenCairn explained the stairway would not be constructed in the same location because of the big blowout during the flood, but the proposed design will work much better. It uses the same landing area as the original, but then takes off and meanders down the draw. KenCairn said the Parks Commission felt the sinuous path was more appealing than one with no curves. Also, it was felt that concrete and stone steps would be more pleasing than wooden ones. KenCairn described the landscaping as being more formal on the upper side with the concrete wall, then disintegrating into more natural forms on the lower side.

Mickelsen related that cost is a concern. Although the concrete and stone steps would be more attractive, if they were wooden, staff would be able to do some of the work. If they are concrete, which the majority of people like, the cost of hiring contractors must be taken into consideration.

In discussing what type of rock would be used, KenCairn stated it will be granite. She also said the landings will be native materials. It was suggested a bench be incorporated in the landing area if possible. To minimize the amount of grading, KenCairn said the steps will be four feet wide. Public art was also discussed. KenCairn stated if the Parks Commission wants public art in this area, there will be a space provided to bolt down the art. KenCairn asked for input on lighting and Giordano said he would like to see as little as possible, except stairway lighting in the walls. The other members concurred. The top of the stairway on Granite Street will most likely have a street light. Shostrom commented he would like the design to be as simple as possible. KenCairn noted a guardrail on the downhill side may be necessary. Although the Commission agreed it would rather see a railing than a guardrail, it was acknowledged the guardrail may be necessary.

Downtown Intersection Improvements - Knox presented plans for bump outs at intersections on East Main Street and on Lithia Way. He explained the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Ashland will be paying for these pedestrian safety improvements. The bump outs will shorten the pedestrian distance across the two or three lanes of traffic. The current standard ODOT practice, although not traditional, is to replace the square cornered intersections with five foot bump outs. Some of the intersection bump outs will also have squared scoring. Leighton asked when the improvements will take place and Knox replied they will begin next spring.


Planning Action 2002-104
Conditional Use Permit
44 Church Street
David and Patricia Sprague

Knox reported this application is for the conversion of an office into a one-unit motel (traveler's' accommodation). Since the property is zoned Commercial, the use is considered to be a motel rather than a Bed & Breakfast and the business owner is not required to live on site. Originally a single family dwelling that was built in 1900, the Coleman-Mulit House was converted into office space in 1993. The only change to the site will be the addition of a driveway on the northeast side of the house to accommodate one parking space. Since two spaces are required, the other one will be located two lots down in the applicants' office parking lot at 99 North Main Street. Knox related one of the conditions of approval will be to move the parking area next to the house back at least five feet in order to have minimal impact from the street.

Shostrom opened the public hearing.

Owner David Sprague stated he saw no problem with moving the parking area back toward the rear of the lot. He also clarified he owns all three properties - 44 Church, 40 Church and 99 North Main Street.

Skibby asked how the landscaping between 44 and 40 Church will be addressed. Sprague stated the area on the left side of 44 Church is currently lawn. The driveway (which will be 12 feet wide) and parking area will be constructed with grass pavers. All else, including the picket fence, roses and chestnut tree, will remain as is. Sprague also explained that 40 Church Street will not be used for parking. He then commented that the proposed use of the house will have less effect on the neighborhood than the office did. At one time, there were five real estate agents working out of the house.

Shostrom closed the public hearing.

The Commission agreed a one-unit motel would be a good use for this house. Therefore, Giordano moved to recommend approval of this proposal with the condition that the parking space be moved back a minimum of five feet. Steele seconded the motion and it passed with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2002-106
Site Review and Front Yard Setback Variance
916 East Main Street
Ron DeLuca

This action was called up for a public hearing so it will be heard at the October 2 meeting.

Planning Action 2002-100
Site Review
142 East Main Street
Allen Connolly/Earthly Goods

Giordano stepped down because he is the architect for this project.

Knox reviewed with the members that the owner and contractor for this project had met with the Commission at its June meeting. At that time, they presented preliminary elevations and Historic Commission concerns were expressed regarding the windows (suggested they be more traditional and symmetrical), lack of depth in the proposed design, the need for a heavier crown molding, and the need to have detailed drawings. The applicant proposes to build a four-story structure on the rear of the existing building. Because of the grade, only two and one-half stories will be exposed. Originally, the owner had intended to downplay the front of the new structure. However, since it will be on an alley that generates a lot of foot traffic due to the new parking structure, he was persuaded to take the opportunity to construct a building with more of a positive presence emulating a street façade. Knox related that the baluster will be replaced with a concrete planter bed with a cap along the top for seating. This will be similar to the other planter beds in the downtown area. Knox commented that this building will allow other additions in the alley to have streetscapes also.

Shostrom opened the public hearing.

Krippaehne asked contractor Walt Stokes how the Earthly Goods property will be differentiated from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival/public alley property. He responded the concrete will be colored and scored with smaller squares. Stokes also replied the trucks will have enough access to unload when questioned by Leighton.

Stokes then explained the body of the building will be brown ground face block with a sealer to make the color darker and richer. The window frames on the storefront will be two-inch aluminum and coated dark brown. The windows on the south elevation will have grids for security purposes. The main entrance will be recessed six feet into the building and will be framed stucco. The East Main view (above Earthly Goods) will consist of stucco above the windows and around the corner. This view will also consist of a small deck. Stokes went on to say the stucco will be a tan color to match the color of the brown block. Quoining will be on all the corners except for one on the east elevation that will not be visible.

Skibby commented that the smaller windows look better and Stokes added the crown and sill give more of a vertical feel to them also. Leighton asked why the windows are not true vertical ones. Stokes replied it is more out of function because the upper floor will be office space and they did not want them to be so tall. Chambers asked if the crown above the windows would protrude and Stokes said they would only protrude a half-inch or so. He also said the crown will be split face block and the sills will be pre-cast concrete. Leighton commented she likes the cap with more weight to it.

Knox then presented a suggested design drawn by a member of the community as a result from looking at the proposed design and talking with a couple Commissioners. The design had more vertical lines, elongated windows, a small belly band near the top of the building and a wider one that extended along the front of the building in line with the top of the recessed main entrance.

Chambers commented that the design is coming out great and he feels the owner will be happy with the building. He also mentioned that in his opinion, the windows still need to be elongated and the belly band adds to the design.

Shostrom remarked it would be helpful to take a straw vote on some of the design items being discussed.

  • Windows - the members agreed the windows should be elongated and that the bottom windows should align with the top windows.
  • Cornice - the members agreed the upper cornice needs more weight and should be three layers of block rather than two in order to make it at least 24 inches in height.
  • Belly Band - most members did not care for the narrow belly band near the top of the building. By a narrow margin, the consensus of the members was to add a belly band to the mid section of the building.
  • Base Material - the members agreed the base material should be either poured concrete, split face block or similar material to make a more substantial horizontal foundation for the building.
  • Concrete Planter Bed - the members agreed it would look better to replace the baluster with a wider concrete planter bed with a cap along the top for seating, similar to the downtown planters.

Knox stated these items will be conditions of approval. If the owner wants to make changes, he will need to get them approved by at least the Review Board.

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

Steele moved and Chambers seconded to recommend approval of this proposal with the conditions as stated in the straw vote above. The motion was unanimously approved.

Planning Action 2002-096
Site Review
47 Fifth Street
Bob Haxton

Knox reported this application is to convert the existing two-story studio in the rear of the property to an apartment. The studio was built last year and at the time, there were issues related to design and compatibility that neighbors brought up. The proposal meets zoning density requirements and staff is recommending approval.

Krippaehne asked about procedure in this case, wondering if this could have been a living unit to begin with. Knox said that although an apartment is an allowed use, it still would have had to go through a Site Review before it was built, in which case the design would have probably ended up more traditional.

Shostrom closed the public hearing since there was no one in the audience to speak either for or against it.

Skibby commented this application adds residential space to the City and fits with the character of the alleys in the Railroad District, as there are several units already located in the alleyways. Knox added that because it is off an alley, there is more flexibility. He also reminded the Commission the design went to the Review Board prior to issuance of the building permit.

Chambers moved to recommend approval of this application. Skibby seconded the motion and it passed with all voting aye except Krippaehne, who opposed the motion.


Proposed Plan for Trinity Church property on the corner of North Second Street and Lithia Way - Doyne Mraz, 95 Meade Street, introduced himself, The Reverend Anne Bartlett (Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church) and landscape designer Michael Minder. He explained that Trinity Church would like to construct a place for respite and meditation for the public on the site where the Morgan House used to stand. There will be three major aspects to the area - a columbarium, a labyrinth and a place to rest, meditate and enjoy the garden. Minder presented a drawing of what he is proposing. He explained there will be two locations to access the area. A piece of the original wrought iron fence, which was black, is still on the site and they would like to incorporate it into the design of the fence that will surround the property. There will be gates at the access locations, which will be open during the day and closed at night. The columbarium will be faced with antique brick and will look toward the church. The Lithia Way side will have a spout water feature attached. The shape of the columbarium mirrors the emblem of the church. Minder described the labyrinth as flat concrete with a perma color delineating the spirals. The rest of the area will be a flat concrete surface as well with landscaping and seating. Minder said the intent is to bring people in to a garden setting. Bartlett echoed this and said the gates will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day.

Knox related this is a primary corner and he would not like to see the entire interior space as hard surface. Minder said he was under the impression it was necessary but was agreeable to changing the hard surface in areas. It was also mentioned it would be nice to incorporate a bench into the area on the corner outside the fenced area. The Commission concurred the idea and design are wonderful for this property. Chambers noted the Commission has seen several versions of proposed buildings for this site over the years and this gift to the City is really appreciated.

Preliminary plans for remodel and two-story addition at 180 Lithia Way (total of 3 stories) - Evan Archerd, owner of 180 Lithia Way, and Architect Jerome White presented conceptual plans for additions to the existing building. There is currently a covered porch area on the single story building. This will be enclosed so the structure will come out to the sidewalk. Two stories will also be added. Archerd explained the base and bottom floor will be poured concrete. The third story will include a veranda and the second story will have a recessed balcony. White clarified the third floor will be residential with office space in the back. He also stated the building will possibly be red brick and stucco. The front entrance will be recessed at a 45 angle. White then informed the members that trees would be planted in the small area that abuts the City parking lot to provide public space with landscaping and benches. The Commission discussed the cornice as presented by White. Skibby was pleased with the treatment of the cornice, however, other members did not think it was what the building needed. Krippaehne said she felt it could be simplified to have a contemporary line and still be compatible. The general consensus of the Commission was positive. It will come before the Commission next month if complete plans area turned in to the Planning Department by this coming Friday.

Adaptive Materials Presentation by Todd Sorrenson (of Keith Brown Building Supplies) - Sorrenson said he asked to be on the agenda to open a dialogue with the Commission regarding the use of new materials on historic structures. In preparing himself for the meeting, he studied the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. He then quoted the following from Preservation Brief 16: The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation require that "deteriorated architectural features be repaired rather than replaced, wherever possible. In the event that replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture, and other visual properties." Substitute materials should be used only on a limited basis and only when they will match the appearance and general properties of the historic material and will not damage the historic resource. He commented it is very difficult to use alternate materials under these criteria. When it is necessary, however, he said he would like to have acceptable material available. Leighton asked how many people would rather use historic materials than substitute materials and Knox responded that most people try to be more authentic when restoring structures.

(At 10:00 p.m., the Commission unanimously agreed to extend the meeting until 10:30.)

Saladoff noted that oftentimes it depends on cost. He also noted that he has been involved with federal rehabilitations and it is not always favorable to use substitute material. Steele said she doesn't know if she could ever recommend alternative materials because as a member of the Historic Commission, it is her duty to preserve our historic resources. If someone uses alternative materials on a structure, then later wants to receive a special assessment designation from the State, it would most likely be denied unless that owner would be willing to go to the expense of removing the material.

Sorrenson said it is still possible to get wood windows but they are much more expensive than vinyl windows. As stated in Brief 16, there are four general reasons to use substitute materials: 1) the unavailability of historic materials; 2) the unavailability of skilled craftsmen; 3) inherent flaws in the original materials; and 4) code-required changes. He asked if historic materials were available, would they be cost-prohibited? Also, some of the materials will become harder to get because of environmental concerns. Saladoff said he would like more specifics about the materials and he would like to know where they have been used. Leighton suggested getting someone affiliated with the State Historic Preservation Office to be present in order to create a good dialogue on the material.

Sorrenson then showed the members an example of extruded polymer, which was made to look like wood. He said he would like to come back to the Commission when there was more time. Steele commented his presentation might be appropriate for a brown bag workshop but didn't feel it would be appropriate for the Commission to sponsor. This will be discussed further at the October meeting, then Sorrenson will be contacted to let him know when to come back to a Commission meeting.


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

September 5

Skibby, Leighton and/or Giordano

September 12

Skibby, Chambers and Krippaehne

September 19

Skibby, Saladoff and Shostrom

September 26

Skibby, Steele and Leighton

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2001-029

455 Siskiyou Boulevard (Fire Station)


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)


PA #2002-100

142 East Main Street (Earthly Goods)



2002-2003 Goal Setting Date Change - Due to the inability to find a meeting room large enough for public hearings on October 2, the goal setting meeting has been changed to November 6. The meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the New Hillah Conference Room.


Leighton informed the Commission that Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) would be holding two events at Hanley Farm in September. On September 7 and 8, the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association will present antique tractors, gas engines, tractor-drawn wagon tours, etc. The Southern Oregon Draft & Harness Association will be featured on September 14 and 15 for turn-of-the-century hay baling press and threshing machine demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon tours, and draft and miniature horses will be on display.

Knox informed the Commission that the date for the Historic Paint Colors brown bag workshop in Jacksonville has been changed from September 28 to October 5.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:35 p.m.

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