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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Agenda
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

ASHLAND HISTORIC COMMISSION
Minutes
November 6, 2002

 

GOAL SETTING/ORIENTATION

The Historic Commission met at 4:00 p.m. in the Shakespeare Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services (CDES) Building to discuss items that have come up over the past year and to decide on a list of goals to work on in the coming year. In attendance were members Dale Shostrom, Jay Leighton, Joan Steele, Keith Chambers, Terry Skibby, Rob Saladoff, Joanne Krippaehne and Tom Giordano. Associate Planner Mark Knox and Secretary Sonja Akerman were also present. Member Gary Foll was unable to attend the meeting.

Topics of Discussion

  • Downtown Plan Status - Knox reported improvements to the Downtown intersections will begin in the spring of 2003. Bump-outs at the intersections on East Main Street and Lithia Way plus traffic and crosswalk lights will also be included. Knox also mentioned the Planning Department will be doing an assessment on the parking calculations that were gathered earlier this year.
  • Detail Submittal Requirements - Knox stated the City has recently submitted notice to the Department of Land Conservation & Development (DLCD) that the Planning Department will be applying for detail submittal requirements. Applicants requesting approval from the Planning Commission will be asked to present a cross section of details with a scale of 11/2 inch to 1 foot at the time of submittal. This proposed requirement should go to the Planning Commission in December. If approved, it should be adopted by the Council in January. All Site Reviews in the Historic District would be covered by this requirement. In discussing this, Krippaehne said she felt this would be too early in the process for an architect or designer to submit such detail. Knox will work with Krippaehne, Shostrom, Giordano, Saladoff and Leighton in discussing this further. Also talked about was the Design Review Form used during the Thursday Review Board meetings and the need for shorter handouts/checklists that can be given to people that have residential and commercial projects.
  • Reference Material - Knox stated that he has recently ordered books and information on CD-roms regarding historic preservation. Space will be set aside in the Lithia Room for reference material that can be used during Review Board meetings.
  • Maximum House Size - The study session with the Planning Commission was briefly discussed. Knox said there will be another joint study session in December or January.
  • Measure 7 - This measure (just compensation for regulatory takings) has been found to be unconstitutional. It is likely, however, that it will come back in another form.
  • Local Authority - Knox stated according to the City Attorney and Community Development Director, the Historic Commission most likely will not get the final say on projects. Giordano said he feels it would save a lot of time, however, if the Commission had the authority to approve or deny Site Review projects in the Historic District. The Planning Commission relies on Historic Commission expertise in these matters and it would lift some of the workload off the Planning Commission. Knox said this is a political issue and the standards are not clear and objective. Leighton noted that the Historical & Architectural Review Commission in Jacksonville has the final say and Giordano added that Medford's Historic Commission also has this authority. Steele said she thinks it should be a goal of the Commission to establish parameters and set standards. The members expressed their frustration in reviewing and commenting on designs only to find out that many applicants receive approval knowing they don't have to abide by Historic Commission recommendations.
  • Comprehensive Plan Policies - Knox reminded the Commission to read Chapter 1 and to pay special attention to the Goals and Policies sections under Historic Preservation.
  • City Talk - Knox informed the members the City is sponsoring a new program on RVTV that will highlight the City's commissions, committees and boards. One group will be featured on this live call-in show every third Thursday of the month. The Historic Commission will be scheduled for January or February. Knox asked that Shostrom and Chambers represent the Commission.

Goals

  • Bi-Monthly Newsletter - This will be an opportunity to inform the public of what the Commission is doing and what it is about. Although it might not be practical to mail out a newsletter to a specified group of citizens, information regarding vinyl siding, vinyl windows, porches, alleys, mass and scale, etc. could be researched and presented in a simple handout format. Steele will explore what can be done on the City's web site, linking the Historic Commission to these topics on other web sites with expert advice. Saladoff suggested having this information available to the public in the lobby area of the CDES Building.
  • Brown Bag Workshops - Based on the last workshop that was held in Jacksonville on a Saturday morning, it was decided it would be best to stick to Fridays. Knox said the next one will be in mid-January, probably on the 17th and special assessment will be discussed. Saladoff recommended having one on American architectural styles also. Saladoff volunteered to help Knox come up with ideas and stay focused in order to keep these workshops happening.
  • Monument Identification - Knox stated he will be asking for an intern to help identify and photograph monuments in the sidewalks and streets. Due to an oversight a few years ago, the Public Works Department overlooked an historical marker in Helman Street and as a result, it was destroyed. Public Works Director Paula Brown is committed to helping get these monuments identified so it won't happen again. Knox said he would appreciate input from everyone. Former members, local historians, authors, and local anthropologists and archeologists will be consulted.
  • Photo Archiving/Screen Saver of Historic Photos - Archiving historic photos (in particular, Skibby's collection) was discussed. Knox stated he would like the City to purchase a good quality scanner for this and added the City could also purchase some of Skibby's time to help with this. Leighton and Skibby will meet with Knox to discuss coordination of this project.
  • National Historic Preservation Week (May 5-12) - The theme for 2003 will be Cities, Suburbs & Countryside. Knox related that he has met with State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) representatives to work out some details of the Oregon Heritage Conference, which will be held in Ashland May 8 and 9. Governor elect Kulongoski, Senator Hannon, possibly Richard Moe (president of the National Trust) and possibly a representative from Main Street National Trust will be in attendance. This conference will be included in the events for the week. Saladoff and Krippaehne will meet to help organize events and Steele volunteered to write an article.
  • Lithia Springs Property - Former Public Works Director Al Alsing had been talking with Shostrom regarding the possible sale of the large piece of property that contains the headwaters of Lithia Springs. He would like to make sure this land does not get partitioned and/or sold. Alsing would also like to see the property placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Council Liaison Kate Jackson arrived at the meeting during this discussion. She related that the Council does not intend to divide or sell this property at this time, but suggested the Commission write a letter to the Mayor and Council regarding its concerns so it will be on file. Shostrom will set up a time to meet with Alsing at the site and work on a letter.

Shostrom will also write a letter to Interim City Administrator Brian Almquist, Mayor Alan DeBoer, Library Project Coordinator Dick Wanderscheid, and Adroit Construction regarding the proposal to not finish the encasement of the rafters in the cornice on one side of the building. This side was to be designed like the other three sides of the Carnegie Library building and will look unfinished if it does not match.

At 6:10 p.m., the Commission adjourned for a dinner break.

CALL TO ORDER - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING

At 7:35 p.m., Chairperson Dale Shostrom called the meeting to order in the Shakespeare Room. All members and staff listed above were in attendance. In addition, Council Liaison Kate Jackson was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

With a motion by Steele and second by Krippaehne, the minutes of the October 2, 2002 meeting were unanimously approved as submitted.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Planning Action 2002-125
Conditional Use Permit and Site Review
44 North Second Street
Trinity Episcopal Church

Knox reported this application is for the development of a landscaped meditation area adjacent to Trinity Episcopal Church. The Commission saw initial plans for this at the September meeting. Nothing has changed in the design except for the portion on the corner of North Second Street and Lithia Way, which will be more public with benches and planters. Staff is supportive of this wonderful amenity for the community. The suggested conditions recommended by Staff are consistent with what is found in the Downtown area and the CDES Building. Knox said Staff would like input from the Commission on the brick material and the color of the fence.

Shostrom opened the public hearing.

The Reverend Anne Bartlett (Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church) introduced herself and Doyne Mraz, 95 Meade Street, who is overseeing this project. She said there seems to be a difference of opinion with Staff regarding the definition of public v. private space. Although not in the original plans, two benches were added to the corner area for the public. The lot belongs to the Church, and while they will be putting up a wrought iron fence, the entire lot will be open to the public. Her concern is that just the corner area will be used for public space. The Church would like to invite the people to come into the garden area also. This is a gift not only to the Church parish, but to the City as well.

Mraz clarified the fence will be wrought iron and painted black. There is a portion of the original fence that still exists. When asked about its age, he said he knows it has been there since the 1920s. The remainder will be replicated. He said he understands the need for a 25 foot vision clearance area on the corner, and wondered what effect the proposed bump-out on Lithia Way and North Second Street will have on the radius. Knox said that will have to be taken into consideration when discussing the final plans prior to submittal.

Chambers stated this proposal will be a positive improvement to the lot. He also sees the addition of the benches on the corner as a positive aspect because not everyone will want to come inside the fence to enjoy the atmosphere. Bartlett said two benches have been added but any more would be a stretch. She added the Church is trying to be generous with the benches on the corner, given there are public sidewalks that adjoin the property on two sides. This prompted more discussion on public space.

Skibby asked if the fenced area will be locked and Bartlett responded there would be two gates that will be locked at night. Skibby declared it will be nice to be able to sit on the benches in the corner area after the gates are locked.

Because the discussion on the public corner continued, Knox related Staff needs to look at what is good for the general public when making a decision. He then asked the Commission for comments on the materials.

Mraz explained the brick proposed for the walls of the columbarium and planters will be antique brick, similar to the Golden-Fields building on East Main Street. Knox added that condition 5 addresses the cap on the planters, which will also allow them to be sitting walls.

Shostrom closed the public hearing.

Chambers said he likes the overall plan with the openness of the corner and expansion of the public area. Shostrom commented he is not crazy about the brick on the Golden-Fields building nor the brick on the Kat Wok building. In taking a straw poll, most of the Commission agreed with Shostrom. The Commission asked Bartlett and Mraz to keep this in mind as they choose the brick.

Skibby moved to recommend approval of this application with Staff's recommended conditions and Steele seconded the motion. It was approved with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2002-126
Conditional Use Permit
199 Hillcrest Street
Regina Riley-Ayers

Knox explained this application is to convert the basement area of the existing house to a 499 square foot accessory unit. The main floor of the house is 1,165 square feet. No exterior changes are proposed.

Shostrom opened the public hearing.

Regina Riley-Ayers verified there will be no exterior changes to the house. She also stated the basement is currently unfinished. Access to the new unit will be from the parking pad on Hillcrest Street. Additional on-street parking credit is derived from Terrace Street.

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

Giordano moved to recommend approval of this application and Leighton seconded the motion. It passed with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2002-127
Site Review
Northwest Corner of North Main and Maple Street Intersection
Ashland Community Hospital Foundation (ACHF)

Knox explained this application is to convert the vacant lot to the north of Mountain View Retirement Center to a 23-space parking lot. Parking is not adequate for the ACHF medical building across the street and this will help alleviate the parking problem. It will also help the parking situation for the adjacent medical office. On-street parking is not an option for either building on North Main Street. Because ACHF is proposing to eventually build another medical office on the front portion of the property, the parking lot is proposed on the rear two-thirds of the lot. Knowing that a building will soon be constructed (which will require another Site Review), Staff is recommending approval of this application. The lot will be landscaped and a bus shelter is proposed. ACHF will work with Staff and the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) to determine the location. When the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) sold this property to ACHF several years ago, one of the conditions of sale was that direct access off North Main Street would not be allowed due to safety standards. Therefore, access will be via a shared driveway with the parcel to the north. The proposed building and the parking area will be screened, however, no detail of the screening was submitted.

Skibby asked if the parking area will fit with the proposed building and Knox said it would meet the requirements, with the building in front and the parking in the rear.

Shostrom opened the public hearing.

Pat Flannery, ACHF Director of Development, clarified the screening will consist of heavy landscaping. He also noted there is a desperate need for more parking at the hospital and the medical office buildings. Because the future building will not need 23 required parking spaces; the other medical offices will be able to continue using this lot.

Shostrom closed the public hearing.

Steele moved to recommend approval of this application. With a second by Chambers, the motion was unanimously approved.

OLD BUSINESS

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

November 7th

....Skibby, Krippaehne and Steele

November 14th

....Skibby, Leighton and Saladoff

November 21st

....Skibby, Chambers and Steele

November 27th

....Skibby, Giordano and Shostrom

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street (Steve Hoxmeier)

Shostrom

PA #2001-029

455 Siskiyou Boulevard (Fire Station)

Skibby

PA #2001-059

50 Sixth Street (Qwest)

Leighton

PA #2001-075

348 Iowa Street (Eva Cooley)

Knox

PA #2001-088

61 Nutley Street (William Machado & Denise Byron)

Steele

PA #2002-002

472 Scenic Drive (Kirt Meyer & Vadim Agakhanov)

Saladoff

PA #2002-010

103 S. Laurel Street (Laura Shrewsbury)

Leighton

PA #2002-021

25 Granite Street (Carol Dutra)

Foll

PA #2002-064

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

Krippaehne

PA #2002-080

286 Eighth Street (John & Mary Ellen Cole)

Foll

PA #2002-075

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

Saladoff

PA #2002-094

340 Oak Street ("A" Street Marketplace)

Saladoff

PA # 2002-098

521 North Main Street (Scott Young Medical Center)

Leighton

PA #2002-100

142 East Main Street (Earthly Goods)

 

PA #2002-125

44 North Second Street (Trinity Episcopal Church)

Skibby

PA #2002-127

NW Corner North Main & Maple Streets Intersection (ACHF)

Krippaehne

NEW BUSINESS

Proposed Plans for Remodel/Addition at 79 Baum Street - Contractor Eric Laursen and owners Richard and Leslie Lovett were requested by the Review Board to meet with the full Commission to present their plans for 79 Baum Street. Laursen explained the Lovetts would like to expand the footprint of the existing house by 750 square feet and build an upstairs. Existing additions will be removed and rebuilt; the back addition will be one story. He submitted detailed elevations of the proposed plan with two other options and simple elevations of the existing house.

Skibby commented he thought the proposal should be more modest and that the additions will entirely change the look of the original house.

Laursen described the proposed changes as follows: double hung wood windows will be used, new wood siding will replace all existing siding, the wing additions on each side will be set back 14 to 16 feet, the back existing additions will be demolished, and the original front wall and plate height will be used. The Commission agreed the original house will be lost and this would be, in fact, a de facto demolition. Chambers related that if the applicants step into the shoes of the Historic Commission, they could see the concern that the original house will literally disappear.

Knox asked if it would be possible to upgrade and add on to the existing house without changing it so dramatically. Laursen responded it is one of the few houses in the area that does not have two stories. When asked about square footage clarification, he stated the downstairs portion will be 1,600 square feet; the upstairs addition will total 830 square feet; the downstairs addition will be 820 square feet; and the original existing house as it now stands is 1,450 square feet. Therefore, the house will be 3,000+ square feet.

Saladoff related that when this came to the Review Board, the members were not objecting to a second story addition, but the entire style of the house has changed. Leslie Lovett stated there is nothing historic left of the original house. Laursen stated the proposed house will only be 11/2 feet higher than the original. He added they are trying to create a house that looks historic. The original house does not fit with the expansion very well.

Giordano suggested taking the existing house elevations and putting the same care and detail into them as Laursen did with the proposed elevations. This should help in the design of the additions. Saladoff also suggested quickly looking at alternatives to the bays and dormers. Giordano wondered if the Lovetts had thought of shed roof dormers and Leslie Lovett responded she does not want that style. She also asked why some large projects are allowed (for example the garage/accessory unit next door) and some are questioned. She and her husband spent a great deal of money on this property and they want to make a nice house out of it, a place where they can live for a long time.

Shostrom talked about simplifying the windows. He also said the porch is so much more grandiose compared with the simple house it was originally. The proposed door is also much larger than the original. Leighton stated separate double hung windows even on the sides would also help simplify the design. Laursen said the porch is actually the same size as the original, however, he acknowledged the door would be bigger and with the thin vertical windows on either side of the door, the porch looks larger.

Chambers stated the proposed designs are beautiful; however, this house is in a National Register District and the proposed changes to the existing house affect the historic inventory in Ashland. The Historic Commission exists in part to protect the City's historic resources. Because the existing house at 79 Baum Street will be essentially lost, the Commission can not in good conscience approve what the Lovetts are proposing. He said he understands that they want a dream house, but maybe that site is not ideally suited for their needs. An addition with a more modest façade would work much better. It is necessary to look at the basic nature of the house versus what is being proposed. The Commission does not want to see the house go away; the members would like to see an acceptable change. Knox added the Planning Department does not want to see a domino effect. Society is now demanding specialized rooms for many functions that used to take place in the same room. What used to work for a family of six no longer seems to work for two people.

The Commission urged the Lovetts to work with Laursen in coming up with a more simplified design.

ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA

No other items were addressed.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, it was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m.

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