Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Administration
The Department of Environmental Quality released the 2012 Material Recovery Report for the Jackson County wasteshed last week and it shows that our recovery rate has increased slightly:  43.3% versus 41.6% in 2011.  However, even though the recovery rate increased, the per capita pounds recovered is lower than the state average and the per capita pounds disposed is higher.  You can read the report by clicking here.
 
We are having some difficulty finding a roofer who can take care of the plaza information booth for us.  We have requested bids from seven roofers and received a bid from only one.  The curve of the roof requires special equipment that most roofers do not have.  Since the roof has been decorated for the holidays, re-roofing will have to be delayed until next month at the earliest.
 
From our “at least we don’t have THAT city’s problems” department comes this Oregonian editorial about an odd charter provision in Lake Oswego. 
 
Fire
The Ashland Firefighter’s Association prepared and served a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for about 70 seniors at the Ashland Senior Center last week.  In addition, the Association purchased an automated external defibrillator for the Center.  (That’s a $2,000 gift!)  Below are photos from the event.

Firefighter Ashley Manning prepares pie in the kitchen​


CERT Coordinator Terri Eubanks serves up dessert​


Captain Kelly Burns helps serve (Mayor Stromberg and his wife, Jane, who helped serve dinner, are seen behind him)​


Battalion Chief Dana Sallee with Senior Center Manager Chris Dodson, who holds the donated AED​




Police
In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the establishment of the Response Systems Panel.  The panel was established as a federal advisory committee that will conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses for the purpose of developing recommendations concerning how to improve the effectiveness of those systems.  This committee is looking for best practices of civilian professionals to compare with like systems and practices of the military to assist the DOD’s endeavor to improve its response to adult sexual assault related offenses.
 
When the DOD reached out to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to ask them which law enforcement agencies had a best practice approach to sexual assault investigations they recommended the City of Ashland!  This is an amazing honor to our police department and is a reward to the hard work Detective Carrie Hull has put into our sexual assault program and to Chief Terry Holderness, whose leadership style allows and encourages progressive innovations.  APD has been asked to present in front of this panel in Austin, Texas, next week.  Deputy Chief Corey Falls will be doing the presentation and looks forward to representing the City of Ashland.
 
 
Electric Department
On November 18th, the Electric Department returned the Reeder Gulch Hydro Power unit to service after completing three weeks of scheduled maintenance.  The Hydro unit’s production had steadily diminished over the years. The reduction was especially noticeable at higher water flows – production actually decreased. During the maintenance debris causing a 50% blockage was discovered in the lower water intake. Since removing the lower intake to clean it out requires at least two days, the department designed and installed a clean out for future access.
 
As a result of the maintenance, energy production (kilowatts - KW) increased 19% to 45% for the middle to upper flow levels (million gallons per day - MGD). Additional testing will be performed in the spring when higher water levels and water flow are available.
  
  Before Maintenance After Maintenance % Change
Needle Valve % KW Flow (MGD) KW Flow (MGD) KW Flow (MGD)
40% 411 12.5 488 16.04 19% 28%
50% 441 14.5 525 14.58 19% 1%
60% 440 16.2 560 16.39 27% 1%
70% 390 17.9 565 17.89 45% 0%
 
On another front, as a pilot, the Electric Department installed four LED streetlights in the median at the intersection of South Mountain Ave. and Siskiyou Blvd. The lights will reduce energy usage and improve the lighting quality for both pedestrians and motorists.


Community Development
Unified Land Use Ordinance Update -- The Planning Commission reviewed the latest revisions to the draft Unified Land Use Ordinance at its November 12th and 26th meetings in preparation for the formal adoption process. The Commission discussion focused on amendments regarding an exemption to lot coverage for porous pavement in the residential zones and standards for cottage housing in the single-family residential zones. The Commission suggested limiting the lot coverage exemption for porous paving to patios and walkways rather than parking and driveways due to mixed feedback on performance of porous paving in heavily traveled areas due to accumulation of debris and oil. For the cottage housing discussion, the draft standards allow a density bonus of two cottages in place of each single-family home allowed by the base density of the zone in subdivisions done under the Performance Standards Option. The draft suggested a maximum of 800 square feet in size for cottages, based on the median single-family home size over the past five years. The Commission suggested increasing the allowed cottage size to 1,200 to 1,300 square feet, limiting the building footprint size and reducing the density bonus to 1˝ cottages allowed for each single-family home. The Planning Commission also discussed the section on application review procedures, which includes several of the proposed amendments recommended by the procedural evaluation. The Commission suggested amending the ordinance language to allow any subdivision to take advantage of the existing Performance Standards Option, rather than maintain the current limitation to exclusively overlay area, parcels larger than two acres, multi-family zoned properties, and those situations that protect the environment or would be equal in its aesthetic and environmental impact. Review of the final draft will continue at the December 10 Planning Commission meeting.
 
Regional Planners Network meeting -- The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) hosted a regional Planners Network meeting in Grants Pass on Wednesday.  At this meeting, DLCD provided updates regarding federal rules, state legislation and executive orders by the Governor relating to land use in Oregon.  Specifically, DLCD staff described efforts to streamline urban growth management, including upcoming population projections from Portland State University, new guidance on urban growth boundary expansions, and recommended methodology for conducting buildable lands inventories and housing needs assessments.  They discussed work being done to examine a statewide Transfer of Development Rights program in part to address measure 37 claims. DLCD also gave an update on the Southern Oregon Regional Pilot Program, an effort by Douglas, Jackson and Josephine Counties to develop new definitions for farmland and forestland including a new classification of “non-resource” lands.   
 
In the area of natural hazards planning, DLCD discussed pending guidance relating to the impact of floodplain development and the expectation that FEMA and National Fish and Wildlife may reach a settlement that requires local communities to address potential impacts of endangered species (a potential "take" of salmon) as part of any development permit issuance.  This issue could have profound impacts on how any building permit in a floodplain is processed by local jurisdictions. They further discussed anticipated FEMA insurance rate increases due to 2012 Federal legislation that changed the Flood Insurance program and the grandfathered status of properties within floodplains.​
 


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Friday, November 22, 2013

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