City Council Study Session
Wednesday, July 16, 2003 at 12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
1. Economic Development Action Plan
DATE: July 16, 2003
TO: Honorable Mayor and City Council
FROM: John McLaughlin, Director of Community Development
RE: City Council Study Session
Economic Development Action Plan
The City Council has begun discussion on the development of an Economic Development Action Plan as a pre-cursor to the full update of the Economic Element of the Comprehensive Plan, and as a tool to assist with possible revisions as to how revenues from the Transient Occupancy Tax are allocated.
This information is provided to the Council to assist in the development of a process for the creation of the Action Plan, and to provide background as to past actions by the City regarding this issue.
Current Economic Element - Update Socioeconomic Data
The current Economic Element from the Comprehensive Plan is attached. While the information may be somewhat dated, the general policies still provide appropriate guidance for the community. Updating the socioeconomic data would be a first step, and one that would be beneficial in the development of an action plan.
It is recommended that a firm, such as ECONorthwest, be utilized to update the information. ECONorthwest was previously hired to conduct the Housing Needs Assessment. Included in this packet is Appendix A of that report, Socioeconomic Data, utilized in the Housing Action Plan. Funding for this contract (and other efforts in this project) could come for the Transient Occupancy Tax revenues returned to the City by the Chamber of Commerce and OSF.
Appointment of Economic Development Review Committee
It is recommended that the Mayor and Council appoint an ad hoc Economic Development Review Committee to review the updated economic data, relate the data to current economic trends in the community, and determine an action plan to address economic development issues.
The committee should be broad based, including members from the previous committee from 2000, as well as other community interests. The committee should represent the values of the community regarding economic development.
Appointment of Transient Occupancy Tax Committee
Near the end of the development of the Action Plan, the Mayor and Council should appoint a specific committee to review the allocation of the revenues received through the Transient Occupancy Tax. The main charge would be to determine how changes could be made to the current allocations that would assist in the implementation of the Economic Development Action Plan.
Development of Assumptions
The Council may wish to consider establishing certain project parameters to guide the committee. In the past, these have included the following:
· It is the responsibility of companies desiring to locate in Ashland to procure funding for their financial considerations from sources outside of the City government;
· The City shall maintain high quality standards for development in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan, Municipal Code and Oregon Revised Statutes;
· Planning and Building procedures apply to development in the City and shall be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan, Municipal Code, and Oregon Revised Statutes;
· System Development Charges (SDC's), fees, permit costs, etc for developments shall apply to all development in the City; and
· The City Council, the final decision making body, shall hear, consider, and as appropriate, implement the recommendations of the committee.
Determination of Community Values
The ad hoc committee should establish the broad values of the community regarding economic development. In the past, these values included the following:
Small Town Environment
· Age and income diversity
is important - need all age groups and incomes to be a great community to
· Smaller population is valued.
· People can live and work in Ashland.
· Interdependency in the local economy between SOU, ACH, OSF, business, education and government.
· Quality of development is high (both residential and commercial).
Quality of Life
· Natural environment - air,
water, trees, views, etc.
· Safe Community
· Walkable and accessible community
· Cultural amenities are strong: theater, music, art, dining, literature, etc
· Friendly community, open and people have positive attitudes
· Laid back community
· Accessible health care in town
· Live where you work
· Proximity to metro-area types of services in the region
· Residents can make a difference living here - can engage and be part of the solution
· High level of accountability
· Access to higher education
1. Council discussion of project, timelines, and expectations. (Study Session - July 16, 2003)
2. Contract with a consulting firm to update socioeconomic data necessary for the decision-making with the Action Plan, and also necessary for the update of the Economic Element of the Comprehensive Plan. (RFQ - August, 2003. Contract - September, 2003)
3. Appoint a broad-based committee to review existing data and information, including adopted economic goals and policies of the community. Establish project parameters and community values. (September, 2003)
4. Through a public process, utilize the committee to develop an action plan for addressing immediate economic development strategies, including allocation of Transient Occupancy Tax revenues. (October - November, 2003)
5. Appoint Transient Occupancy Tax Committee to review current allocation and recommend modifications as part of the 2004-2005 Budget Process. (Appoint - December, 2003. Recommendations to Budget Committee - February, 2004)
6. Update of the Economic Element of the Comprehensive Plan. (November, 2003 - September, 2004)
The attached PDF file is Chapter 7: The Economy (Supplemental information pertaining to the Study Session)
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