MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
September 16, 2003 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL MEETING TO ORDER
Councilor Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison, and Hearn were present.
Councilor Laws arrived at 7:04 p.m.
Councilor Hartzell arrived at 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 2, 2003 were approved with the following corrections: 1) on pg. 1 under Presentation of Bicycle and Trail Route Map, it should read "town with an emerald necklace", 2) in the 5th paragraph of same section "McCullom" was misspelled, should read McLellan.
Councilor Hearn also made one correction to the September 3rd Study Session Minutes. The minutes stated that he was absent, but Councilor Hearn was in attendance, and there are recorded comments from him in the minutes that verify this.
Councilor Amarotico / Morrison m/s to approve minutes with noted corrections. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS:
Mayor's Proclamation of October 2003 as "Disability Employment Awareness Month" was read aloud by Councilor Morrison.
Mayor noted he had the opportunity to meet with 11 representatives from Russia, and welcomed them to Ashland.
Announcement in Memory of Ken Hagen.
Mayor DeBoer read the announcement aloud. He also noted a proclamation request that had been received too late to make the agenda, but voiced his support for September 28th as "Good Neighbor Day".
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Termination of a Waterline Easement in Lot 39 of Clay Creek Gardens.
Councilor Morrison /Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
1. Public Hearing and Determination of the reallocation of unexpended
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
Assistant Planner Brandon Goldman addressed the council on the recent concerns regarding the carryover of unexpended CDBG funds, and the potential for the City to lose future allocations. He stated the intent of this hearing is to evaluate and receive direction from staff as to how to proceed with the reallocation of the previously awarded grant. Goldman stated that if the projects fail to be completed by November 1st, the city will risk losing $208,000 this year, and $465,000 in the following year. Goldman stated there are 4 strategies being presented to the council, three of which where discussed at the September 3rd Study Session, and the 4th was added after being reviewed by the Housing Commission on September 10th. Goldman summarized these 4 strategies:
1) No Change
No reallocation takes place relying on the confidence that the current awarded projects will go forward in a timely manner.
2) ACLT Retains award the remaining carryover to be recaptured
Ashland Community Land Trust would retain its' $120,000 award, with the remainder of unexpended funds being reallocated.
3) The Recapture of all unexpended carryover
ACLT would not retain it's $120,000 nor the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation retain its' past awards, and as such all accumilated carryover being reprogrammed and put out for a competitive bid process for the coming year.
4) Housing Commission's Recommendation
Allow RVCDC to combine their 2002 and 2003 CDBG awards to be applied toward the purchase of the property located at 2001 Siskiyou Blvd. for the construction of 8-11 affordable housing units.
Recommend that City Council direct staff to provide the RVCDC a deadline of January 30th, 2004 in order to accomplish the purchase of the property. In the event that the funds are not expended by that period, the funds would be recaptured and put up for a new RFP process at the beginning of February. (Though this would mean they would need to find a sub-recipient who could expend the funds by the November 1st, 2004 deadline)
ACLT retains their $120,000 award, given confidence they will complete their project on time.
All other carryover reallocated for the 2004 RFP process.
Goldman stated Staff supports the recommendations of the Housing Commission in light of the testimony received at their Sept. 10th meeting by RVCDC. He also stated they had seen a copy of the option, indicating that the property owner does have intent to sell to RVCDC. Therefore, the purchase of the 2001 Siskiyou Blvd property could be expeditious enough to accomplish the goal of expending the accumulated carryover prior to the November, 2004 deadline.
Goldman re-stated they are seeking direction from council as to how to proceed. After which, Staff will be in a position to go back through the Public Hearing process and modify the 2002 & 2003 action plans, as well as any other action plans that have accumulated carryover in order to reallocate those funds. He stated this can be done concurrently through one public review process and public hearing process, upon the council's determination that the recommendation provided by the Housing Commission and Staff is the appropriate way to proceed. Goldman also noted there has been public notice given in regards to this meeting, and they have not received any written comments.
Councilor Jackson stated this seems like a good direction to take, but voiced concern if RVCDC fails to complete the purchase by January 30th, and if there would be enough time to start over and still be completed by November 1st. Goldman stated they have had the same concern. He stated that the quickest turn around so far to acquire land has been 11 months, and they have seen no evidence that it can be done in 9 months. However, the Housing Commission felt it was warranted to allow RVCDC an additional 3 months to secure the property based on the confidence they have received on the Siskiyou Site.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:15 p.m.
Jennifer Henderson/321 Clay #8/Ashland Community Land Trust President/ Voiced her support of the Housing Commissions Recommendation #4. Initially, she was concerned that the CDBG funds would be pulled entirely back, and that the time frame would be too short to do anything. But in light of the Housing Commissions recommendations', feels that this is a win-win situation.
Ron Demele/165 Crocker/Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation/ Stated they are proposing to stick with one of the 3 original sites they looked at to do a tax credit project. Noted that an individual who owns one of the 3 properties has approached RVCDC and stated he would sign an option to sell, and this will be ready to close on the 30th of November. Demele also expressed that they are dependent upon the City's planning process. He stated they are ready to go, but are waiting on the internal process that is mandated. This site would produce 8-11 units, which would be at the very affordable level (30%-50% median income). Demele clarified the partnership that makes this possible: the acquisition is through CDBG and the development of the houses comes through USDA World Development.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:20
Councilor Morrison / Jackson m/s to direct staff to proceed as outlined in Option #4. Voice Vote: All AYES. Discussion: Councilor Morrison expressed that this is not just a compromise, but a blue print to move this process ahead and builds on what they have already allocated. He stated he would hate to see a delay and to have to reallocate, as it takes up staff time and wastes time of everyone involved. He hopes that everyone is on the same page since they are on a tight timeline, but feels that this is the best option at this time. Motion Passed. All AYES
2. Public Hearing and Decision on the 2002-2003 Consolidated Annual
Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER).
Assistant Planner Brandon Goldman addressed the Council to present their accomplishments from the past year. He stated there were a number of items that with the use of CDBG funds they were able to accomplish, including:
With the help of Jackson County Housing Authority, directed $33,000 towards the rehabilitation of 4 dilapidated homes in Ashland that were occupied by low to moderate income households.
The Public Works Department, with the use of CDBG funds, completed the installation of a sidewalk on the East side of 8th Street, for a cost of $32,000.
The RVCDC expended $7200 in CDBG funds for a relocation plan for the lower Pines site, unfortunately this site acquisition was not carried out, and as such that plan was not implemented.
They have addressed Fair Housing in Ashland by hosting 2 separate training periods, one in June 2003, and another in November 2002. At each session a number of trainings were held, and were quite well attended.
Goldman stated that they completed the CAPER as directed and it has been notified it in the Ashland Daily Tidings. They have received no comments, and Staff recommends approval of the 2002-2003 CAPER as presented.
Councilor Jackson asked if it was easier to expend money toward social services through our Social Service Grant Programs than it is to have one or more recipients under the CDBG funds. Goldman clarified under the Social Service Grant Program the administrative work required by the City is minimal. However, for any CDBG funds over $2000 received, comes an entire regime of HUD requirements. Goldman suggested the Council may want to investigate Social Service agencies being involved in CDBG funds.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:30 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:30 p.m.
Councilor Laws / Amarotico m/s to approve the 2002-2003 Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/ Spoke regarding the Forest Service hikes into the Ski Ashland expansion area. He stated he had gone on several of the hikes and felt that they were somewhat biased. He stated the hikes showed less critical areas of the development as well as downplayed the potential impacts. Navickas invited the Council to join him on two upcoming hikes, the first is scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 17th at 9:00 a.m., and the second will be held Saturday, Sept.27th, also at 9:00 a.m. Both will begin at Evos. He expressed his disappointment with the Council's direction to limit public voice in regards to the DEIS, and feels this is the wrong direction to take.
Colin Swales/461 Allison/ Stated he comes before the Council as a citizen, and questioned the legislative process. He stated there are two significant ordinances that are scheduled for first and second readings tonight, and expressed his confusion with the Speaker Request Forms, asking if they were going to be hearing any public testimony since the Public Hearing has already been closed.
Mayor DeBoer clarified that they will allow public testimony on any of the agenda items, including the readings of the ordinances.
Public Forum Closed: 7:35 p.m.
Councilor Hartzell asked City Attorney Paul Nolte if there was a difference between public testimony taken on Land Use matters and that taken during first or second readings?
Nolte clarified that the Land Use hearings involving quasi-judicial hearings is much different because those rules are prescribed by statute and implemented by the Council through Council Rules. The rule of taking no testimony after the Public Hearing has been closed is a rule that has been in effect for years and can be waived by the Council or the Mayor, if it so desires.
Councilor Laws stated that the procedure of taking public testimony at the Public Hearing, as well as both the first and second readings, has never been done before and has the opportunity to stretch things out unnecessarily. He stated they are open to receiving comments after the Public Hearing is over and will take those into consideration. He cited the example that some individuals will state the same thing over and over again, which can be a waste of time.
Councilor Jackson asked City Attorney Paul Nolte whether the ordinances on tonight's agenda were considered a quasi-judicial decision? Nolte clarified that they were not. Jackson stated she tends to agree with Laws in that they have already given direction to staff after the first reading.
Councilor Hearn expressed his concerns with this issue being 1) the Council's goal of encouraging public input, and 2) stated he had received approx. 8-10 calls from people who claim to not have understood or appreciated the issues until now. Suggested possibly opening Public Forum could be another way to get to the same place. Stated in his experience they have allowed people to comment on both the first and second readings.
Councilor Laws stated that they have only allowed testimony at both readings when there has not been a formal Public Hearing.
Councilor Hartzell suggested the need for the Council to have a discussion with the Mayor on this issue, and noted the upcoming the Study Session and not taking public input.
Mayor DeBoer stated that typically there is not a Public Hearing on first and second readings, however in this case there are enough changes to the ordinance that warrants taking additional public input.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Designation of Voting Delegate for NLC meeting.
Council does not designate a voting delegate for the National League of Cities meeting to be held on December 13th.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS:
1. Second reading of "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 18.72 of the Ashland Municipal Code - Land Use Ordinance, Amending the Detail Site Review Zone Standards for Large Buildings, and Amending Section II-C-3a)2) of the Site Design and Use Standards."
Director of Community Development John McLaughlin presented changes that
the Council had requested at their prior meeting and requested approval of
this second reading. Some highlights of the changes include:
adding interior courtyards as part of the footprint
adding rooftop parking to count towards to overall square footage
automobile parking in a basement must be both within the footprint of the building and in the basement, for it not to counts towards to the overall square footage.
McLaughlin showed examples of current structures in the downtown area that have underground parking for the Council's clarification. He stated that if exposure above grade is less than 6 feet and is for more than 50% of the perimeter, this constitutes a basement. McLaughlin clarified that parking on any other floors would count toward to the square footage. Some of the examples shown include:
Best Western Bard's Inn - parking would count as first floor
and be included in the 45,000 sq.ft. limit.
Mayor Deboer asked where the grade would be measured from. McLaughlin clarified that regulations state that if it's within 5 feet of the sidewalk, the sidewalk grade is used. If it's over 5 ft., the grade is measured from the bottom of the structure.
Plaza Suites Hotel - Around back, the wall face is fully exposed and greater than 6 feet , therefore parking would count as first floor and be included in the 45,000 sq.ft. limit.
Hargadine Parking Lot - McLaughlin stated that on the Hargadine side it is virtually zero. The rooftop parking would count as well as the 2nd floor, however is was hard to determine whether the lower floor would be included as well.
Stratford Inn - McLaughlin stated this would count as a first floor even though it is not visible from Siskiyou Blvd.
Councilor Hartzell asked if there are other other towns that have looked at this particular issue, and if they can take into consideration which street has the open view. (Especially in the downtown area where N. Main Street is on the downward slope) Hartzell also asked if someone used their interior courtyard for parking, would that count towards the total square footage. McLaughlin clarified that yes, it would.
Councilor Laws stated that what they are wanting is to maintain the appearance of bulk and scale, as well as keep away corporations who will send their profits outside of the City, and that this ordinance as revised serves those purposes.
Councilor Hartzell voiced that Council needs to keep in mind that these regulations are only for the downtown area, and that businesses have more freedom in other areas of town.
Mayor DeBoer stated his concern was that we need parking downtown, and don't know why we discourage parking under a building. He cited the examples shown were much more pleasing than having a large lot next door for parking.
Councilor Morrison stated he was in favor of taking public input at this time, since it seems that there is a significant amount of added sections.
Russ Dale/585 Allison/ Stated he was a developer, but likes to think of himself as a community builder. He explained that he travels all over, and seeks out communities that are similar to Ashland that face some of the same problems. He feels that parking is still a major issue, and is afraid there will be unintended consequences.
Evan Archerd/120 N. Second St/ Agrees with a number of things that have been said at this council meeting, but thinks that there are a number of unintended consequences from the changes that were recently applied. He believes they make the development of a mixed-use building very difficult, unnecessarily restricts parking, forbids variances, and may restrict economic development and affordable housing. Feels the solution is to hold a public charette, and urges the Council to delay approval of this ordinance until a charette process is completed.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith/ Feels that developers want to combine tax lots in the downtown area in order to create one large lot, and feels this is a classic example of why we need this ordinance passed. He feels the character of our historic downtown is very important, explaining it is related to tourism. He wants for the Council to remove the parking exemption and strictly limit size to 45,000 square feet. He also stated developers have not been apart of this debate until recently and noted their interest is based on their acquisition of the Copeland Lumber site.
Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/ Spoke on the procedures for this process, and mentioned that there have been a couple of charettes in the past. He stated a lot of public input went in to the previous charettes, yet they still languished. He expressed his frustration that this item was pulled from the last agenda, stating a number of individuals have worked on this for some time and it appeared that one developer could come in and re-write the agenda. Swales urged the Council to pass the ordinance as is.
Bryan Holley/ 324 Liberty St/ Expressed his worries about the Speaker Request Form, and respectfully requests that the Staff re-work the form. He stated a lot of people who attend the Council Meetings are not regulars and are unfamiliar with this process, and their voices deserves to be heard. Holley mentioned Bill Street's memo and noted there were several good ideas, and asked when suggestions like this have their time to be seriously reviewed. Holley also mentioned undoinfluence and asked when will the citizens have the opportunity to have a one-on-one with the Staff as the developers do.
Bill Street/180 Mead St/ Thanked Mayor DeBoer for allowing his input, and stated that sometimes it is necessary to repeat yourself. Street focused on the footprint issue, and asked why they would want a building in the downtown that was the size of Albertson's. He stated only the Mark Anthony has that size, and the City has already agreed that they will not repeat that pattern. He urged the Council to bring down the footprint size, and asked that they apply the same vision they have for the Historic District to the downtown area.
Tanya Beneis/ 398 Dead Indian Memorial Road/ Stated a goal of Ashland should be to efficiently use the small area of downtown we have. She stated allowing businesses to have parking underneath their structures would be a more efficient use of space than having a separate lot adjacent, and does not understand why the council would penalize the builder for that. She also expressed that she had heard the possibility to add affordable housing to the City's parking structure, and stated this ordinance does not seem to be furthering that cause.
Councilor Hartzell acknowledged the request to update the Speaker Request Form, and spoke on the idea of having a public charette. Hartzell stated that if the charette request was granted, it could give an implicit acknowledgement that the charette process would replace what has already been accomplished, and does not want to hold off on passing this ordinance to hold a different public process.
Councilor Laws stated that at some point you have to quit taking input and make a decision. He expressed that he has received numerous emails and takes each one into consideration, but feels the Council has reached the decision-making point. Laws sited examples of changes that were made to the ordinance as a result of public input, and feels they have made a lot of progress. He expressed his uncertainty with the option of holding a charette, but stated it might be a good option later. Laws stated that he is ready to act upon this ordinance.
Councilor Jackson expressed the need to pass a limit of the total square footage. She mentioned the downtown area being a good place for affordable housing, and questioned whether we really needed more parking. Jackson stated she is not satisfied with the ordinance as it stands right now, but does want to set the 45,000 sq. ft. limit tonight.
Councilor Hearn noted the two extremes on this topic, and stated it is up to the Council to find the middle ground and make these decisions. He stated he is concerned with unintended consequences, and stated it bothers him that the ordinance does not provide the opportunity for variance.
Councilor Hartzell asked if someone would be allowed to build aggregate lots downtown over the 300 ft. limit. Director McLaughlin explained that it could be possible, although there is no present space in the downtown area to do so, and that this clause was left out of the ordinance because there already exists contiguous buildings in the downtown area. He clarified that design standards would mandate that the exterior frontage of a building this size give the appearance of several buildings, but that there may be one large store behind the face.
Councilor Morrison acknowledged to option to hold a charette and stated it should look at what they can do and what they want downtown to be, and does not believe this process would be dominated by developers. He stated he does not believe this ordinance is adequate, stating the footprint maximum should be less, and the lack of affordable housing, but will support this ordinance because it does reduce the total size of the building.
Councilor Hearn stated he would approve this ordinance with the elimination of section 1.E.
Councilor Amarotico requested the removal of the words "automobile parking" in section 1.C, asking if that was really necessary since they are trying to preserve bulk and scale.
Councilor Jackson m/s to approve the ordinance as presented, with the exception of Section 1.C and each time it's repeated to read: "Parking areas located within the building footprint shall not count toward the total gross floor area." No Second, Motion Fails.
Councilor Hearn m/s to approve the ordinance as presented, with the exception of Section 1.E being removed. No Second, Motion Fails.
Councilor Hartzell / Laws m/s approval of ordinance as presented. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Hartzell, Yes. Jackson, Amarotico, Hearn, No. Mayor DeBoer, No. Motion Fails.
Council discussed what compromises can be made in order to pass the ordinance tonight.
Councilor Hearn / Laws m/s to approve ordinance, with the exceptions that Sections 1.E and 2.E are removed. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hartzell, Morrison, Hearn, Yes. Amarotico, Jackson, No. Motion Passed.
Councilor Jackson discussed the Housing Commissions' recommendation of passing the ordinance as is, with the possibility of adopting amendments at a later date.
Councilor Jackson / Hartzell m/s to direct Staff to create amendments that deal with affordable housing downtown, within the next 3-6 months. Discussion: Councilor Laws stated that this motion is not necessary, explaining that the Housing Commission is always free to address the City Council with proposed changes, as are all of the Boards and Commissions. Jackson clarified that this would be directing Staff to develop the possibilities, and believes that continuing to work on housing action plan is a priority. Voice Vote: Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, YES; Laws and Amarotico, NO. Motion Passes, 4-2.
2. First and second readings by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Chapters 18.20, 18.24, and 18.28 of the Ashland Municipal Code - Land Use Ordinance, Establishing Limits on Maximum House sizes in the Historic District."
Mayor DeBoer changed the agenda so that the first and second readings are done separately.
Director of Community Development John McLaughlin summarized the changes
from the previous reading for the Council:
FAR changed from .42 to .38
Included a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for structures to exceed the Maximum Permitted Floor Area (MFPA) by up to 25%
Set an absolute MPFA for single family structures of 3,249 sq. ft.
He also noted 2 minor changes that needed to be made:
1) Section 4, Table 2: the FAR for one unit needs to be amended from .42 to .38
2) Section 6, Table 2: the same amendment, .42 to .38 for a single unit.
Councilor Hartzell / Jackson m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m.. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
Colin Swales/461 Allison/ Noted he was the one who pointed out the mistake in Table 2. Swales feels that all tables should be reduced in the same way as the single unit. He also suggests the Council closely looks at the definition of basements and noted the differences in the 2 separate codes that could cause confusion.
Jason Robison/55 Scenic/ Feels this ordinance errs on the extreme side, and feels it should allow a little more breathing room and allow more living space. He stated he lives in the Historic District and has relatively modest goals for his house, but given this ordinance his family would not be able to achieve those goals.
Councilor Hartzell pointed out an error in the wording in Section 6.K. Sentence should read "New structures and additions to existing structures within the Historic District..."
Councilor Hartzell asked Director John McLaughlin to address the basement issue brought up by Colin Swales. McLaughlin stated that he felt that people will always find a way to squeeze into the definition what they would like. He also stated that he felt that the current definition works, the language is good, and meets the intent of this ordinance.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of the ordinance, including the clarification brought by Staff to amend .42 to .38 for single units, and the word "structures" added to Section 6.K.
Councilor Hartzell m/s to amend previous motion to include the FAR standard
applied to the single unit, also applied to the the entirety of both Table
2's. (all would be reduced by .04)
Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Amarotico, Hearn, Laws, Hartzell, Jackson, Yes. First Reading Passed.
Laws/Hartzell m/s to amend the ordinance to include the emergency clause. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hartzell, Yes. Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison, Hearn, No. Motion Fails 2-4.
Morrison/Jackson m/s to adopt second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Amarotico, Hearn, Laws, Hartzell, Jackson, Yes. Motion Passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS:
1. Proposed advertisement to encourage public input on DEIS - Kate
Councilor Jackson mentioned the memo she had submitted regarding public input on the Mt. Ashland DEIS, which explained what issues the Council has directed staff to focus on, and the dates of the upcoming meetings.
Councilor Hartzell expressed her concerns of constraining public input.
Councilor Laws noted an error in the Study Session minutes stating that Councilor Amarotico was both present and absent. He clarified that he was absent and Amarotico was present.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
April Lucas, Asst. to City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor
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