City of Ashland, Oregon / City Council

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
July 20, 2004
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 15, 2004 and Special Meeting Minutes of June 29, 2004 were approved as presented.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1.   Bicycle Friendly Community Designation.
Ashland Bicycle and Pedestrian Commissioners Lexi Delgado and David Chapman presented the City of Ashland the Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists. Ms. Delgado stated this organization acknowledges Cities for their efforts to promote and improve bicycle safety, and noted Ashland is one of 38 cities recognized. Ms. Delgado thanked Brad Jones for his help in bringing this award process forward, and informed the Council that the commission wants to reapply in 2006 for a silver or gold award.

Ms. Delgado noted September 22, 2004 is "Car Free Day" and invited everyone to participate.

CONSENT AGENDA

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Alice Hardesty to the Housing Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2005.
3. Authorization for the City Administrator to Sign and Execute ODOT Agreement No. 21888 - Fund Exchange Agreement; E. Main Street (Dewey to N. Mountain Avenue), City of Ashland.
4. Approval of Oregon Department of Aviation Financial Aid to Municipalities (FAM) Grant Application in Support of the Ashland Municipal Airport 2004 Airport Improvement Program; and Reading by Title only of "A Resolution Accepting the Grant Offer of the State of Oregon Through the Oregon Department of Aviation in the Maximum Amount of $25,000 to be used under the Financial Aid to Municipalities Program Project No. 5-7-0012-0 in the Development of Ashland Municipal Airport."
5. Annual Liquor License Blanket Approval.

Consent Agenda items #3 and #4 were pulled for discussion.

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1, #2 and #5. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Morrison/Amarotico m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #4 and Resolution #2004-29. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell disclosed that she lived on East Main Street.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Public Hearing regarding Appeal of Planning Action 2004-052, 904 Garden Way, Ashland.
Mayor DeBoer read aloud the Public Hearing procedure for Land Use Hearings.

Public Hearing Open: 7: 41 p.m.

Ex Parte Contacts
Mayor DeBoer read the article in the newspaper and conducted a site visit. Councilor Jackson visited the neighborhood and received a phone call and email from Eve Terran. Councilor Morrison received two emails between Maria Harris and Councilor Jackson. Councilor Hartzell stated she is familiar with the property, however since this project has started through the appeal process; she has not had any conversations regarding the house and does not have any opinions about the application at this point. Councilor Hearn has reviewed the council packet. Councilor Laws stated he is familiar with the neighborhood and has spoken with some of the residents, however he has not heard anything that was not included in the council packet.

Staff Report
Associate Planner Maria Harris presented the staff report for the appeal of Planning Action 2004-052. The report explained that the request is for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Site Review approval to convert 475 square feet of the existing residence into an accessory residential unit for the property located at 904 Garden Way.

Staff recommends the Council support the decision of the Hearings Board, who approved the application with 13 additional conditions.

Staff report included comments to the following issues raised in the appeal:
•  Increase traffic, parking and pedestrian safety concerns,
•  Lack of "to and through" improved streets in the development,
•  Inadequate off-street parking for the subject property, and
•  Diminished "livability" of the single-family residence characteristics of the
    neighborhood.

Ms. Harris noted this property is located in a Single-Family Residential Zone. She also stated a driveway shift will be necessary to provide additional parking space. Staff believes that approving the CUP for the accessory unit will not change the bulk or scale of the property. In addition, Staff believes that in terms of material affect on livability, there will not be a greater adverse impact than the target use of the property.

Council questioned if the owner's failure to obtain necessary building permits should be considered in the criteria for approval. Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated there was no change to the building footprint, however to address this issue, Council may want to add a condition that requires the owners to obtain all necessary inspections and permits. Ms. Harris further clarified Staff is not certain if the work done constitutes a violation.

Applicant
Jane VanDyke/668 Leonard Street/Stated she and her husband recently purchase the house at 904 Garden Way so that one day their daughter could live in it. Because their daughter cannot move at this time, it is necessary to rent it out. Ms. VanDyke respectfully requested the Council approve this application based on the following reasons: 1) The application meets all applicable City ordinances for accessory residential units, 2) The application has been approved by Ashland City Planning Staff as well as the Planning Commission Hearings Board, 3) All requirements of the Site Review Chapter either have been met or will be met, and 4) This project meets the Affordable Housing goal set by the City Council.

In Favor of Applicant
Judy Backen Frank/740 Pennsylvania Avenue
/Spoke in favor of the application and noted she has lived in the community for many years. Ms. Backen-Frank commented on the lack of affordable housing in Ashland and the need for accessory units and rentals to accommodate all types of people.

Jim Romberg/698 Roca Street/Noted his length of residence in the community. Mr. Romberg commented on the "livability" and "diversity" of our community, and stated that affordable housing is necessary in order to maintain the vitality of Ashland. Mr. Romberg noted there are City ordinances that support this type of action and believes it is important to respect these ordinances.

Larry Morgan/271 Morton Street/Stated he is a former Planning Commissioner and commented on the importance of in-fill. Mr. Morgan urged the Council to approve this application, stating affordable housing combines very well with in-fill and also promotes diversity.

Nancy Beaver/335 High Street/Stated she currently lives in a unit similar to that proposed in this application. Ms. Beaver noted the affordability of these units and stated it is a "win-win" situation.

Sally Jones/881 S. Mountain Avenue/Voiced support for this project and noted her relationship with the applicant. Ms. Jones stated the applicant is trying to provide affordable units, which it what the community wants and needs. Ms. Jones noted the applicant lives close to the property and will not be an "absentee landlord". Ms. Jones expressed her full support of this application.

Rylan Heyerman/760 Tolman Creek Road/Spoke on behalf of his sister and parents who helped him build his current home. He noted the construction of an accessory unit on his property was crucial for them to be able to afford a home in Ashland. Mr. Heyerman believes the City standards are good and achieve the affordable housing goals. Mr. Heyerman encouraged the council to uphold this application.

Eve Terran/892 Garden Way/Letter in support of application was read into the record.

Appellant
Chris Robinson/891 Garden Way
/Presented a letter into the record that outlines his objections to the conditional use application based on the following grounds: 1) Inadequate paved access to and through the Garden Way tract of homes, 2) Generation of additional traffic, 3) Inadequate parking, 4) Increased noise, 5) Impact on the livability of the neighborhood, 6) Diminished property values, and 7) Modifications to the property prior to receiving the necessary permits.

Mr. Robinson stated this is not just a case about 904 Garden Way, but also the larger question of accessory residential unit as a conditional use in R-1 zones. He feels that this is a matter of "livability" and urged the Council to reinstate the meaning of Single Family Residential in R-1 zones.

In Opposition of Applicant
Gwen Davies/860 Harmony Lane
/Apologized for any inaccuracies in the flyer that was distributed and for placing the flyer into mailboxes as she was unaware that this was illegal. Ms. Davies read a statement of opposition from Kerry and Janice Lay into the record. Ms. Davies stated R-1 is what the residents wanted when they bought into this neighborhood, and noted the construction of a door right outside the neighbor's bedroom window. Ms. Davies also submitted a petition signed by 46 neighbors into the record.

Dick Trout/830 Garden Way/Voiced concern regarding the traffic on Garden Way and safety issues. Mr. Trout stated that adding additional units would only increase traffic on a street that is already too narrow with no sidewalks. Mr. Trout noted the lack of process by the applicant and that the required permits were not secured prior to their renovation. He feels the applicants should be held responsible for not following the required process.

Jim Fieguth/850 Garden Way/Read statement of opposition from Jack and Patty Ware into the record.

Karen Fieguth/850 Garden Way/Read statement of opposition into the record.

Jean Crawford/923 Harmony Lane/Read statement of opposition into the record.

Vern Crawford/923 Harmony Lane/Read statement of opposition from Denise and Gerald Hauck into the record.

Joanne Costantino/892 Harmony Lane/Shared her experience with duplex units and the related noise and traffic issues. Ms. Costantino expressed her concern with the house being rented as a duplex unit and questioned how future owners might use the property.

Lynn Costantino/892 Harmony Lane/Expressed his frustration that his exhibit was not brought to the Council Meeting as promised by Planning Staff. Mr. Costantino stated this project has had no architectural review and feels the front door should have been placed at the front of the house, so it would not disturb the neighbor. He stated this project was not done in the spirit of affordable housing, but rather is an ugly design done to collect maximum profits. Mr. Costantino asked that this application be denied based on the fact there was no architectural review.

Curt Bacon/891 Harmony Lane/Noted his property is located directly behind the applicant's. Mr. Bacon commented on how narrow Harmony Lane and Garden Way are, and the parking and traffic safety issues they face. Mr. Bacon expressed his disappointment, stating when he purchased his home it was zoned R-1 Single Family, and now it is being rented out for multi-family use.

Patty Knapp/902 Harmony Lane/Commented on how well she knows the neighborhood and the proximity of her home to the applicant's. Ms. Knapp shared her experience with a duplex unit located across the street, which was rented out to college students. Ms. Knapp shared the difficulty she experiences backing out of her driveway. She also questioned if this project meets the definition of affordable housing or whether the applicants just want extra income.

Jamie Brown/932 Garden Way/Noted her length of residence and urged the Council to reject the proposed accessory unit. Ms. Brown fears the standard of living will be greatly devalued by approving this application and feels the City should not encourage this type of development in this neighborhood.

Paul Giancarlo/916 Garden Way/Resides next door to the applicant's property. Mr. Giancarlo stated he will be the one most affected by the proposed changes and voiced his opposition to the project. Mr. Giancarlo noted the required building permits were not obtained and feels the applicant attempted to avoid the process. He noted the new entryway, which was placed 6 feet from his house, and noted that it could have been placed on the opposite side of the house. Mr. Giancarlo asked that if the Council does approve this application, they require a condition requiring the applicant to provide a fence in order to protect his property.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:30 p.m.
Public Hearing will be continued at the August 3rd Council Meeting. Lynn Costantino will be allowed an additional two minutes to present his exhibit at the Continued Public Hearing.

PUBLIC FORUM
Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 S
/Asked that the City play a more proactive role in the proposed Billings Golf Course. Mr. Roth stated he supports of the use of effluent irrigation water for the golf course. He also suggests the City partner with the Billings family to build the golf course, and use the 75 acres currently occupied by the Oak Knoll Golf Course for affordable housing.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke on behalf of the protesters in regards to the recently approved nudity ordinance and presented an educational session on human anatomy.

Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Spoke regarding the line lot adjustment for the Sid and Karen DeBoer planning action. Mr. Swales requested the Council make an interpretation of several of the land use ordinances, and asked that this item be placed on a future council agenda.

Andrea Fraga/264 N. Mountain Avenue/Stated the Public Nudity Ordinance is a result of the tourist economy, and that this law has been imposed on Ashland's residents to appease outsiders. Ms. Fraga stated she participated in the nude protest and that most of the people who viewed the protest did not take offense.

Ryan Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Asked the Council to place the issue regarding the nudity ordinance on the next agenda, as many people wish to comment.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1.   Summary of Council Goals for FY 2004-2005 and Timeline.
Item not addressed due to time restraints.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1.   Mount Ashland - Report and Update.
Jeff Hanson, General Manager, presented the annual report to the council.

Mr. Hanson noted the significant trend in the snow sport business, with 3 of the last 4 years setting attendance records nationally. He stated growth in the Northwest exceeded that average, and demographics are showing good opportunities for growth over the next 10 years. Mr. Hanson stated the ski area operated for 115 days last season, total snow fall was above average at 350 inches, and total visitor count was 102,329, which was the third best season in the operation of Mt. Ashland. Financially, it was a good year with a net operating income of $161,000. The ski area received contributions totalling $145,000 and earnings and increases in investments of $49,000. Mr. Hanson stated their final financial statement will be produced after CPA review in August and will be delivered to the City's Finance Director in September.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Mr. Hanson stated the ski area will undergo lodge improvements for the upcoming year, including an expanded food service and new furnishings. Mr. Hanson noted a few of the concerns raised from the survey include parking, restrooms and food service location.

Suggestion was made that in the future, copies of letters from the ski area to federal agencies be provided to the Council.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Stated the Forest Service has shown negligence for this project. Mr. Navickas stated he visit Mt. Ashland last week and has never seen a bigger mess. He also noted serious erosion at the wastewater treatment facility. Mr. Navickas feels the ski area expansion will have severe impacts for generations to come, and encourages the public to visit this area and see the poor conditions for themselves.

2.   Agreement for Services between the City of Ashland and the Ashland
      Chamber of Commerce.

Management Analysis Ann Seltzer explained the Agreement for Services with the Chamber of Commerce (COC) is a departure from previous contracts, both in format and in content. This Agreement identifies the overall objectives of the City, the accountability and reporting requirement of the Chamber to the Council and the general provisions that appear on contracts with all grant recipients. This Agreement for Services has been reviewed and reflects input from the TOT committee, the Chamber Director and Executive Board, the Chamber's Attorney, the City Administrator, the City Attorney and the Finance Director. Staff recommends the Council authorize the City Administration to sign the Agreement for Services.

Councilor Hartzell suggested the following changes to the Agreement:

1) Page 1, 2nd paragraph under Purpose: remove "visitor center management" and either move it under Visitor and Convention Bureau or drop it completely.
2) Page 2, 2nd paragraph, first sentence should read: "The COC will emphasize its economic development activities..."
3) Page 3, Under Tourism Promotion should read: "Focus on promoting visits to Ashland during the shoulder season, with services and support prioritized for recipients of grantees of the Economic and Cultural Development Grants."
4) Page 3, Under Accountability, first paragraph, second sentence should read: "Present a progress report on current fiscal year activities at least annually at a City Council meeting."
5) Page 3, Under General Expectations, Number IV should read: "Reach out to other City of Ashland cultural and economic development grant recipients to assist them with their efforts."
6) Page 4, Under Specific Requirements, remove statements that the COC and VCB "...shall review and update its tourism promotion strategies every three years..".
7) Page 4, Under General Provisions, Financial Records, remove language that requires that financial information be kept confidential, as none of the other grantees are held to this standard.

Councilor Jackson asked that the Council determine the definition of "shoulder season", and submitted her proposed wording into the public record.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to place item on the next council meeting agenda. Voice Vote: Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Laws, Amarotico and Jackson, NO. Mayor, NO. Motion failed 3-4.

Staff informed the Council that they will bring the Agreement back to the Council for their continued discussion and approval.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1. First and Second Readings of "An Emergency Ordinance Levying Taxes for the Period July 1, 2004 to and including June 30, 2005, such taxes in the sum of $8,388,000 upon all the Real and Personal Property Subject to Assessment and Levy Within the Corporate Limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon, and Repealing Ordinance No. 2910."

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and move to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Jackson, Laws, Hartzell, Hearn and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Amarotico/Laws m/s to approve Ordinance #2911. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Jackson, Laws, Hartzell, Hearn and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing the Sale of Bonds for the Ashland Fiber Network."

Councilor Jackson/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2004-27. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Laws, Morrison, Hartzell, Amarotico and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing Interfund Loans to the Community Development Block Grant and Telecommunications Funds."

Councilor Laws/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #2004-28. Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Morrison, Hearn, Laws, Hartzell and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.


OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS


ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Alan DeBoer, Mayor
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder


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