MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 20, 2003
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Council Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 6, 2003 were approved as presented. The Council Study Session minutes were corrected to read, on the last page, last paragraph: "45,000 gross square foot area," instead of, "45,000 sq. ft. footprint."
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Termination of an Easement at 118 Nevada Street.
3. Authorization to Declare the Belt Press Equipment (Wastewater Treatment Plant Equipment Inventory) as Surplus and Offer for Sale.
Item #2 was pulled from the Consent Agenda for discussion.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 & 3. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Regarding Item #2, it was clarified that parcel two does not have creek frontage, and is fully away from the trail construction.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to authorize the Mayor's signature on the Quitclaim Deed terminating the City's interest in the parcel as stated. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy S/Read aloud from an article on Telecom debt and spoke regarding the Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) debt. He expressed concern about the amount of money put into AFN and the long term affects of this on City finances. He suggested the City contract an outside appraisal to determine both the true value of AFN and the true cost to Ashland citizens.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting a New Fee Schedule for the City of Ashland Building Division Mechanical and Plumbing Inspection Programs."
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that these fees have not been raised since the inception of the program and are currently the lowest in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The raise in fees will cover expected costs for running the programs, with a small buffer fund built in.
Building Inspector Mike Broomfield explained how fees and expenses are tracked and how the fees do not support the program. He noted that the contracted services to the City of Talent are at a break-even point. He noted that medical gases are basically a new job for the plumbing inspectors and fees must be generated to cover costs.
It was clarified that fee increases must be approved by the State. Council emphasized that fees should be as close to costs as is reasonably feasible.
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #15. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Hearn, Hartzell, Laws, Jackson, and Morrison: All AYES. Motion passed.
2. First Reading of "An Ordinance Amending Sections 15.04.220, 15.16.240 and 15.20.040 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Provide that Fees for the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Codes be Set by Resolution of the City Council."
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of the Ordinance and move to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Amarotico, Morrison, Laws and Hartzell, all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing and Ordering the Local Improvements for Construction Improvements to Tolman Creek Road, Consisting of Sidewalks, Parkrows, Parking Bays, Bicycle Lanes, Pedestrian Safety Improvements to Intersections, Traffic Diverter Islands, Drainage and Associated Improvements and Authorizing the City to Borrow Money and Issue and Sell Notes for the Purpose of Providing Interim Financing for the Actual Cost of the Local Improvement."
Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #16. DISCUSSION: It was noted that there would not be double taxation of parcels with both Tolman and Jacqueline frontages. It was clarified that Resolution 1999-09 established percentages on how different components of the LID were factored. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Hartzell, Amarotico, Jackson and Hearn, all AYES. Motion passed.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Transferring Appropriations
Within the 2002-2003 Budget."
It was clarified that this Resolution fixes some errors that were made and allows transfers of appropriations for projects that have shifted.
Councilors Morrison/Hearn m/s to excuse Councilor Laws from voting due to potential conflict of interest. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Councilors Hearn/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #17. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Hartzell, Amarotico, Jackson, and Hearn: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting the City of Ashland
Affordable Housing Action Plan and Housing Needs Analysis."
Community Development Director John McLaughlin noted that the documents had been "clean-up" edited for formal adoption by the Council. No changes to policy or direction have been made. He pointed out two late editing changes: 1.) On page 7 of the Action Plan, in reference to the real-estate transfer tax for Washington County, change ½ of 1% to 1/10 of 1%; and, 2.) On page 9 of the Action Plan, the format of the rates in the table was changed to follow the format of the rest of the document more consistently.
Hearn proposed that the following footnote be added to page 9 of the Action Plan: 1.) Under current Oregon Law local real-estate transfer taxes are not permitted. The Council issued a resolution requesting the Oregon Legislature to amend that law.
McLaughlin noted that the proposed footnote language could be added directly to the text of the document.
Jennifer Henderson/321 Clay Street/Supported adoption of the Affordable Housing Action Plan, noting that adoption of the Resolution puts in writing the City's resolve to make some development affordable.
Concern was expressed that relaxation of landuse laws could adversely affect quality of life. Also that it should be made clear that when adopting the Action Plan the Council is no necessarily adopting every aspect of the Action Plan, but rather accepting potential solutions or remedies. It was clarified that the Action Plan does not say, "shall," or "will," but says, "should consider," and "recommends."
It was noted that affordable housing involves growth.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Supported the City's position to find ways to support affordable housing. He noted, however, that this could become a double-edged sword by allowing large tracts of land to be developed that used to be farmland. He suggested looking to high-density development and offering incentives to promote the development of affordable housing.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #18 adopting the Affordable Housing Action Plan and Housing Needs Analysis including the corrections in the attached memo and language changes regarding the real-estate transfer taxes. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Hartzell, Amarotico, Jackson and Hearn, all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC FORUM continued:
Fred Caruso/102 Garfield #15/Spoke regarding the methods and materials used in building affordable housing. He advocated quality over quantity and commented on toxic building syndrome.
Robert McLellan/441 Parkside/Announced a "National Trails Day" event to be held on Saturday, June 7th in Lithia Park and sponsored by the Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association. He explained that the Association is working on the building of a trail system around Ashland.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer commented on the status of the Senate bill regarding the real-estate transfer tax, and felt that the bill may die because revenue producing must start at the House. He asked if the Council has direction concerning this. Council did not give any new direction.
Mayor DeBoer noted the need for two volunteers to serve on a Committee dealing with Citizen discounts. Councilors Jackson and Morrison volunteered to serve.
Jackson announced the beginning of the Wetlands Inventory project and that notice has gone out to property owners requesting property access in order to conduct survey work.
Other announcements included notice that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission is advertising for new commissioners and that a Bike Swap is coming up soon.
It was noted that the Housing Needs Analysis and the Affordable Housing Action Plan are on the City website.
The meeting as adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder Alan DeBoer, Mayor
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