Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

March 18, 2003
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

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

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 4, 2003 were approved with the following addition on page four, paragraph two, under "Other Business from Council Members:" "The study will compare Ashland as part of the larger area around it (the communities along Bear Creek) and Missoula as part of its larger area. The study will look for opportunities to address the needs of communities that share a common difficult economic situation, that of low wage jobs and a high cost of living."



1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.

2. Termination of an easement on 1322 Seena Lane.

Item 2 was pulled from the Consent Agenda at Hartzell's request.

Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that the natural drainage way is no longer used due to re-routing of Roca Creek. It was wondered if water might be a problem if the property was built on. Brown clarified that they will check that with any building envelope that comes in.

Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Item 2. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.


1. Public Hearing on An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.108 and 18.106 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Approval Standards for Zone Changes and Annexations.

Staff Report:
Senior Planner Bill Molnar gave a report on the issue of Zone Changes and Annexations, illustrating main points with an overhead presentation. It was noted that these changes came out of some efforts by the Housing Commission and some concerns within the community.

Land use Strategy

  • Code provision intended to increase supply of affordable housing.

  • Links construction low-moderate housing with market rate housing.

  • Voluntary provision for Zone Changes - optional for developer.

Zone Changes - results of proposed amendments

  • Makes the "public need" for affordable housing an optional approval criteria.

  • Zone Change requests still must comply with relevant Comp Plan policies.

  • Sets specific affordable housing targets for applications.

  • Guarantees affordable levels for a period of 60 years.

Amendments apply to

  • Zone change applications involving an increase in residential density.

  • A change from one residential zone designation to another.

  • A request for a residential overlay on Commercial or Employment land.

Approval Criteria

  • The change implements a public need other than the provision of affordable housing, supported by the Comprehensive Plan, or

  • A substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the existing zoning was proposed, necessitating the need to adjust to new conditions, or

  • Circumstances relating to the general public welfare exist that require such an action.

New Approval Criterion (optional)

  • 35% of the base density to qualifying buyers of renters with incomes at or below 120% of median income; or

  • 25% of the base density to qualifying buyers or renters with incomes at or below 100% of median income; or

  • 20% of the base density to qualifying buyers or renters with incomes at or below 80% of median income; or

  • 15% of the base density to qualifying buyers or renters with incomes at or below 60% of median income; or

  • Title to buildable land for development is transferred to a non-profit affordable housing developer for the purpose of complying with subsection 2 above.

Zone Changes - Request for Residential overlay - Commercial & Employment Zoned lands

  • Same affordable housing requirements as residential zone change requests; plus

  • Must demonstrate that the project will not negatively impact the City's commercial and industrial land supply as required in the Comprehensive Plan.

Public Hearing Open: 7:25 p.m.

Jack Hardesty/575 Dogwood Way/Suggested that another hearing on this issue be scheduled and publicized in advance in order to give more opportunity for public input.

Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Felt that since Ashland is relying on a tourism economy we need to maintain character of historic districts. He was concerned with spot zoning and the potential loss of the historical integrity of a neighborhood.

Chris Oswald/541 Fairview Street/Member of the Housing Commission/Spoke in support of the proposed ordinance amendments.

Diana Shavey/694 Oak Knoll/Former member of Housing Commission/Spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance, noting the difficulty Ashland faces in terms of land acquisition for affordable housing. She felt it possible to maintain the integrity of residential districts through good design.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:33 p.m.

Council discussed the issue. It was noted that the issue before the Council tonight was to decide to approve or to not approve bringing a proposed ordinance change to the Council. If approved the Planning Commission would craft the ordinance, which would come back to Council for first and second readings. It was noted that this issue has been the subject of at least 4 public hearings.

It was noted that with annexations affordable housing requirements could not be increased, and that the proposed ordinance would clarify those requirements.

Community Development Director John MacLaughlin noted that the proposed ordinance contains specific requirements that neighborhood not be degraded, and that the Council and Planning Commission has discretion in the application of policies. Design standards would always apply and all properties in an impacted neighborhood would always be looked at. It was noted that these provisions specifically would not allow density bonuses. Base density must be allowed.

DeBoer noted concern with creating pockets of properties within the City, noting problems with LIDs. MacLaughlin responded that the City has a passive annexation policy, only annexing where owners are willing. He felt that pockets are not always a bad thing.

Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the Ordinance amendments as proposed tonight and direct Staff to bring the Ordinance back for first reading at the next meeting. Discussion: Council discussed affordable housing requirements. Voice vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.


Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Discussed the Big Box issue noting that at the February 11th Planning Commission meeting it was unanimously decided to recommend to the Council that the interpretation of the gross square footage should revert to its original understanding which was total gross floor area. He noted that this issue would be discussed at the Council's May 7th study session. He asked that in the mean time the Council endorse the Commission's decision.

Bill Street/180 Mead/Read aloud a newspaper editorial on the subject of patriotism.

Steve Armitage/205 Rondy Street/Spoke regarding the Ashland Schools Foundation and thanked the Council for their support of schools. He listed several accomplishments and invited all to the Foundation's website,, for more information. He asked all to support the Youth Activities Levy.

Marilee Jenkinson/1102 Ho Hon Rd, Talent/Spoke regarding the ICCA and the Ashland police. She recounted a recent experience with Ashland Police regarding her homelessness.


1. Adoption of the 2003-2004 Strategic Plan Goals.

Council discussed the Draft Strategic Plan Goals, including changes to those goals proposed by Hartzell and Jackson. Council reached consensus that word-smithing the document was okay, that goals not discussed at Goal Setting would not be added, and that it is okay to have "empty" categories. It was suggested that bullets be used in the document instead of parentheses, and that the document clarify for its reader that "goals" are items of special emphasis for that year, above things already being done by the City. It was noted that the format and process of the Goals document could be worked on for next year.

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi noted that goal items would be assigned to the respective departments and the departments would prepare action steps and timelines. Every time one of the issues arises, information would be shared with the Council who could then fine-tune and adjust things, and give further direction.


1. Council Authorization to dispose of surplus property valued in excess of $10,000.

Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained the list of surplus property and recommended that the Council authorize the purchasing agent to dispose of the listed surplus property.

Councilors Morrison/Hearn m/s to accept Staff's recommendation to authorize the Purchasing Agent to dispose of the attached list of surplus equipment. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

DeBoer asked that after disposal of the property a memo be given to the Council regarding the amount realized from the sale of the property.


1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland Reiterating its Policy Relating to the Expenditure of Monies for Economic and Cultural Development to the Hotel/Motel (Transient Occupancy) Tax and Repealing Resolution 2000-25."

Council agreed to postpone this issue in order to give time for further information gathering and research. Councilors Hartzell, Laws, and Morrison volunteered to informally report back to Council on this issue. It was clarified that there would be no group decision and each person would come back with a separate report.


DeBoer noted that the Forest Lands Commission is having an Open House about reducing wildfires on City-owned forest lands. The first workshop is on Thursday April 3rd from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Community Development/Public Works Building, there is a hike on Saturday April 5th from 9 to 2, and another workshop on Tuesday April 8th.

Hartzell requested an update on the homeless issue at the May study session.

Jackson noted that it is time for all to communicate with our state legislators about expanding the use of Systems Development Charges (SDCs). DeBoer commented that school boards and educators need to bring this issue forward to the legislature.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:19 p.m.

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