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Historic Commission Meeting

Minutes
Wednesday, December 02, 2015

ASHLAND HISTORIC COMMISSION
Meeting Minutes
 December 2, 2015
 
Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room
 
REGULAR MEETING - CALL TO ORDER 6:00p.m. – SISKIYOU ROOM in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building, located at 51 Winburn Way
Historic Commissioners Present:  Mr. Skibby, Ms. Renwick, Mr. Emery, Mr. Ladygo, Mr. Shostrom, Mr. Giordano, Mr. Swink, Mr. Whitford
Commission Members Absent:  Ms. Kencairn (E)
Council Liaison :  Carol Voisin
Staff Present: Staff Liaison: Mark Schexnayder; Clerk: Regan Trapp
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mr. Giordano motioned to approve minutes with corrections from November 4, 2015.  Mr. Ladygo seconded.  Mr. Whitford and Mr. Swink both abstained.
 
PUBLIC FORUM:   
Bruce Bayard of 621 A Street, Ashland, Oregon, addressed the Commission regarding the Gateway Island Project.  Mr. Bayard briefly described his time as a Public Arts Commissioner and stated that he was on the selection panel for the Gateway Island Project.  Mr. Bayard went on to say that his reason for speaking is because he would like to see better intra-commission relationships between the Public Art Commission and Historic Commission.  He spoke on past experiences with the flawed process and would urge the Historic Commission to participate in the process and find better ways to communicate within the City Commissions.
 
Mr. Skibby closed the public forum.
 
COUNCIL LIAISON REPORT
Ms Voisin gave the Council Liaison report.
 
Mr. Skibby read aloud the procedure for public hearings.
 
PLANNING ACTION REVIEW:
PLANNING ACTION:  2015-02203
SUBJECT PROPERTY:   868 A Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Linda McMilleman & Steve Saturen/ Mark Lackey
DESCRIPTION:   A request for Site Design Review and a Conditional Use Permit to allow for a second story addition to the existing cottage at the rear of the property located at 868 A Street.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Employment; ZONING: E-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09AA; TAX LOTS: 6800. 
 
There was no conflict of interest or ex parte contact with the applicant.
 
Mr. Schexnayder gave the staff report on PA-2015-02203.
 
Mr. Skibby opened the public hearing to the applicant. 
 
Amy Gunter of Rogue Planning and Development at 1424 S. Ivy, Medford, Oregon addressed the Commission.  Ms. Gunter emphasized that the target use of the zone is general office developed at a .5 floor area ratio which equates to a 3,250 square foot office or office/residential combo.  She went on to say that in E-1 zones you can have 85% lot coverage and no setbacks to the north.  There is a 40 ft height limitation (or 3 stories) with a rear yard setback of 10 ft per story when abutting a residential zone. Ms. Gunter implied one could argue that the “residential use “, is non-conforming.  She stated that the property has been a residential unit for decades and has been granted conditional use permits to further the residential growth.  Ms. Gunter elaborated on the Conditional Use Permit criteria and compared the home to the neighboring lots and then passed around some photos of the different lots to show similarity in bulk and massing.  Ms. Gunter heartily endorsed the architectural compatibility of the existing structure as compared with the Historic Design Standards and the scale and height are comparable to other buildings in the E-1 zone.  Ms. Gunter clarified that they have taken all necessary measures to make it look like a residential unit and have continued the residential elements that are happening on the existing house, making it compatible with the residential structures in the vicinity. 
 
There were questions from the Commission regarding foundation, placement of buildings, siding materials and setbacks.  Ms. Gunter elaborated on materials used for the project. 
 
Mr. Skibby closed the public hearing to the applicant and opened to the public for comments.
 
Robert Monroe owner of Cabinet Works at 165 B Street, Ashland, Oregon addressed the   Commission.  Mr. Monroe gave a history of the development in the A Street area and stressed that he has concerns about the setbacks of the structure.   Mr. Monroe directed attention to 18.1.4.030 from the land use code which talks about non-conforming structures.  Mr. Monroe is concerned about it blocking neighbor’s views of the mountains and will look right into Mr. Adelman’s backyard creating a privacy issue. 
 
Stacy McCullough of 267 8th Street, Ashland, Oregon addressed the Commission.  Ms. McCullough told the Commission that the 2nd story addition will block all her views of the mountains and she would not get the morning sun along the alleyway like she does now.  She emphasized that the reason she bought her home was for the views she gets and believes she will be “blocked in” if the structure is allowed to be built.  She showed the Commission photos of her views of the mountains. 
 
Allen Adelman of 886 A Street, Ashland, Oregon addressed the Commission.   Mr. Adelman is concerned that if the structure goes up he will lose his privacy.  He stated that the applicant is  pushing the envelope with the proposed setbacks.   He went on to say that he lives in an 800 square foot home and will feel boxed in if the structure goes up.  There are numerous parking issues in the neighborhood and he feels that the Commission needs to look at the bigger picture.  He invited the Commission to come to the area and look at what is proposed for it.  Mr. Monroe spoke out of order and said that the basement is finished and has bedrooms in it.  Mr. Adelman finished by stating that he never received the Notice of Complete in the mail. 
 
Mr. Skibby closed the public hearing and opened to staff for comments.
 
Mr. Schexnayder called attention to the mailing of the Notice.  He stated that, according to the labels and affidavit, the Notice was mailed to Mr. Adelman.  Mr. Schexnayder went on to say that in the non-conforming section of the Land Use Code 18.1.4.030 a non conforming structure may be altered with planning approval of a Conditional Use Permit.  Mr. Skibby commented that according to the Land Use Code, no one is guaranteed a view and Mr. Schexnayder concurred.  There was much discussion on the solar ordinance, setbacks and what is allowed in E-1 and residential zones.
 
Mr. Skibby opened the hearing to the applicant for rebuttal time.
 
Ms. Gunter addressed the Commission and wanted to reiterate that the criteria speaks to massing scale and height compared to the target use of the zone.  She stated that yes the setbacks are non –conforming but they would still have much less of an impact than a 40 ft tall structure 20 ft off the property line would.   She went on to say that views are not protected through the Land Use Ordinance and they believe they have met all criteria for the Historic District Site Design and Use Standards. 
 
Mr. Schexnayder stated that with the Conditional Use Permit, this is would all be legal and by code and would be a staff administrative decision. 
 
Mr. Skibby closed to the applicants and opened to the Commission for comments.
 
Commissions concerns are setbacks and the lack of an additional 10 feet for setback.  They spoke about protecting the residential setback when adjacent to E-1 and believe it should be honored.  Mr. Giordano thought a compromise might be to make the structure 1 ½ stories rather than 2 to preserve some views and sunlight but it would eliminate half of the upstairs.  The Commission as a whole was undecided on this option and the decision was to continue this Planning Action until the next meeting to give the applicant time to respond. 
 
The first motion, made by Mr. Shostrom was to deny PA-2015-02203 but was withdrawn to give the applicants more time to alter their design. 
 
Mr. Shostrom motioned to continue PA-2015-02203 until January’s meeting and allow the applicant time to respond to compliance with scale and massing in relation to the setbacks and try to meet existing ordinances and standards within the zone.  Mr. Swink seconded.  No one opposed. 
 
NEW ITEMS:
   Review board schedule
   Project assignments for planning actions
   85 Winburn Way
 
Mr. Schexnayder addressed the Commission regarding the reasons 85 Winburn Way will not be presented for planning action review.  He went on to say that this is a hillside physical and environmental constraints permit and is not subject to Site Design or Conditional Use Permit review by the Historic Commission.  He stated that the applicants have asked for the opportunity to present the proposal to the full Commission. 
            
Carlos Delgado, Architect at 217 Fourth Street, Ashland, Oregon addressed the Commission.  He presented the color rendering of the proposed residence at 85 Winburn Way to the Commission.   Mr. Delgado gave an overview of the project proposal and gave a brief history on the applicants, Bryan and Stephanie Deboer.   Mr. Delgado pointed out that the applicants are wanting a more “urban project” home in Ashland, to retire in.   He went on to say that they are meeting all the standards in the Historic District in regards to height, solar, setbacks, MPFA and wall frontages.
 
Mr. Skibby commented that it’s modern but the design and texture fits nicely in the area.  Ms. Renwick called attention to the fact that it looks way smaller than it really is.  Mr. Shostrom outlined the fact that it is residential, but it doesn’t look like it.  He went on to say that all the buildings in the area, even though commercial, have a residential feel.  Mr. Shostrom mentioned that in looking at the proposal it speaks to the transition between commercial and residential because of the high scale of design.  He commented that the way the building “steps up” is a soft feel and the applicant has done a great job with the cascading effect of the plantar boxes and the recessed parking and lower parking garage are a great concept.  Mr. Ladygo said as compared to the previous drawings, this is a beautiful design and the massing is good.  Ms. Renwick appreciates how Mr. Delgado addressed the issue of the driveway by not having them back out onto Winburn Way. 
 
 The Commission asked questions about design of pillars and retaining walls, siding (possibly redwood, cedar, or teak) and tree removal. 
 
The Commission, as a whole, feels this is an appropriate project for the area and will improve it greatly. 
 
OLD BUSINESS: 
Email from David Sherr regarding plantings in the Plaza – The Commission discussed this and   agreed that no one needs to respond to the email.

“Gather” sculpture – Emails
 
Ms. Renwick addressed the email and stated that the City allows service to 2 Commissions according to chapter 2.04.09.09C. Ms. Renwick went on the say that herself and Ms. Kencairn have no conflict of interest in regards to the selection of the art. Ms Renwick impressed upon the fact that the sculptress will be doing her own landscaping.  She clarified that at the study session for the council they concluded that the process taken by the Public Arts Commission was legal and by the rules.  She impressed upon the fact that if the Historic Commission doesn’t agree with the rules than they need to be active in changing them.  Mr. Skibby stressed that the City Council is working on some ideas for better communication between the Commissions.  Mr. Ladygo emphasized that there are 2 qualified members that would be interested in a liaison position between both the Historic Commission and the Public Arts Commission.  He went on to say that if the communication lines were open between the Commissions then there wouldn’t be this immediate conflict.  Mr. Ladygo added that the emails that have been sent regarding the “Gather” sculpture are all subjective in nature and based on “personal taste”.  He stated that the sculpture would not obstruct anyone’s views and will blend in, in any season.   Mr. Swink expressed his disappointment at not being able to attend the meeting in November and that he would have made more of a statement against the sculpture.  Mr. Swink believes that while the sculpture is nice looking, it’s inappropriately placed and doesn’t represent Ashland for him.  Ms Renwick interrupted Mr. Swink by saying it’s subjective.  Mr. Swink agreed with Ms. Renwick that it is subjective but stated that he has seen a lot of public artwork in relation to historic buildings and believes that something better could have been chosen.  There was much discussion about the size, scale, and appropriateness of the sculpture where Commissioners were voicing their opinions.  Ms. Renwick briefly outlined what Ms. Voisin had said at the last meeting and stated that “It’s not about the art”.  Their job was to focus on the scale, size, materials and location of the sculpture, that’s all.  Mr. Skibby moved the discussion along and said they will wait to hear from the City Council on the process.  Ms. Renwick made a recommendation to the Commission by going to the City’s website and clicking on the gateway project banner public input section.  She went on to say that they are taking the public’s responses and creating word clouds. In Ms. Renwick’s opinion they are one of the most effective visual things she has ever seen. 
                                           
DISCUSSION ITEMS:
     There were no items to discuss.
                                  
 COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:
 Mr. Skibby shared with the Commission in regards to a visit he had with Barry Thalden, an architect from SOU.  Mr. Thalden invited Mr. Skibby to look at a sign making router.   Mr. Thalden offered to engrave the plaques for the Historical markers at a low cost.  Mr. Skibby passed around samples of the plaques to the Commission.  Mr. Skibby reported that all the engraving is done on the computer and the service is available if this is the way everyone wants to go.   Mr. Skibby says they may work with smaller projects.  Mr.Shostrom and Ms. Renwick were concerned about the quality of the material and how long it would last.  This material may be able to be used in other areas of the City. 
 
Review Board Schedule
 
December 10th Terry, Allison, Bill
December 17th Terry, Sam, Andrew
December 24th Terry, Kerry, Tom
December 31st Terry, Kerry, Bill
January 7th Terry, Keith, Tom
 
Project Assignments for Planning Actions
 
PA-2014-01956 Lithia & First All
PA-2014-00710/711 143/135 Nutley Swink & Whitford
PA-2014-01283 172 Skidmore Shostrom
PA-2014-00251 30 S. First St Whitford
BD-2013-00813 374 Hargadine Swink
PA-2013-01828 310 Oak St. (Thompson) Shostrom
PA-2014-02206 485 A Street Renwick
PA-2015-00178 156 Van Ness Ave Kencairn
PA -2015-00374 160 Lithia Way Emery
PA-2015-00541 345 Lithia Way Giordano & Renwick
PA-2015-00493 37 N. Main Skibby
PA-2015-00878 35 S. Pioneer Ladygo
PA-2015-01163 868 A’ Street Kencairn
PA-2015-00980 637 B’ Street Shostrom
PA-2015-00797 266 Third Ladygo
PA-2015-01115 34 S. Pioneer Ladygo
PA-2015-01496 35 S. Second-Winchester Inn Shostrom
PA-2015-01512 198 Hillcrest Swink
PA-2015-01695            399 Beach Skibby
PA-2015-01769            860 C Renwick
PA-2015-01517 209 Oak Shostrom
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS & INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:
Next meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm.
There being no other items to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:11pm
Respectfully submitted by Regan Trapp
 

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