Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

October 21, 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.

Mayor DeBoer announced that the Council had held an Executive Session for the Labor Negotiation with the Ashland Police Association pursuant to ORS 192.660(2), and an Evaluation of the City Attorney pursuant to ORS 192.660(1)(i).

City Attorney Paul Nolte introduced Mike Franell, the new Assistant City Attorney, to the Council and City.

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

Mayor DeBoer read a statement informing the public they were allowed to speak on any Agenda Item and during the Public Forum, but asked that they stay on topic and respect the opinions of others.

The Regular Meeting Minutes of October 7, 2003 and Study Session Minutes of October 8, 2003 were approved as presented.

Mayor's Proclamation of October 20 - 25, 2003 as "World Population Awareness Week" was read aloud by Councilor Hearn.

Eric Navickas /711 Faith Ave./ Presented a few slides depicting an area of the proposed expansion. Navickas stated water is an international crisis, and stated it is inappropriate for the City to endanger the water supply without knowing how much water is coming through this section of land.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Paul Westerman to the Airport Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2006.
3. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of J. David Wilkerson to the Public Arts Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2004.

Councilor Morrison / Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

1. Public Hearing regarding Planning Action 2003-112, Clover Lane (Annexation).

Councilors Hearn and Amarotico disclosed they had been members of the Planning Commission during the previous request, and were assured by staff that they did not have to abstain from voting since this was a new request.

Senior Planner Bill Molnar explained the request is for an annexation and zoning map change from a RR-5 (Residential) Zone to an E-1 (Employment) Zone for a 1.32-acre parcel at the end of Clover Lane. The Planning Commission approved the Land Partition and Site Review request on September 8, 2003, as well as unanimously recommended the Council annex the property.


Bob Robertson /1175 E. Main, Medford/Applicant / Robertson gave a brief history of the actions leading up to this request, and explained how he would like to develop an office/ warehouse on this site. Robertson explained that all of the conditions have been met, and feels that this would be an attractive and low impact addition to the City.

Councilor Hartzell asked where the generated numbers for traffic trips came from. Robertson explained they used the manual, which showed the projected number of trips that this type of usage would normally generate. He also stated they had performed their own car count, and found that the present usage is much less than the manual indicates. He concluded that even if all of the projected trips out of the manual were generated, there is enough street capacity to handle it.

Daniel Rueff /240 Ohio St./ Spoke in opposition to the request. Rueff voiced his disapproval of ongoing development is Ashland, claiming traffic is outrageous compared to a few years ago.

Council briefly discussed with staff how this request would affect traffic, and the site history of this project.

Bob Robertson /Applicant/ Delivered his rebuttal stating he hoped the Council approved this request, as it is the only way they will be able to do anything with this property.


Councilor Morrison / Hearn m/s to approve Planning Action 2003-112. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison, Hearn; YES. Motion Passed.


Tracy Bungay/334 Bridge St./ Claimed the Council has disregarded the values of the World Population Proclamation and the Valdez Principles by allowing the Mt. Ashland Expansion.

Tom Rose/430 Wiley St./ Explained his concerns regarding the Mt. Ashland Sewage Plant, citing the plant is out of compliance with its' permit, and that the permit expired on May 31, 2003.

Jeff Hanson /13880 Hwy. 66/ Stated the plant received a notice, not a citation, and it is not out of compliance with the permit. Upon receipt of the notice, thorough research and measures were taken, and the plant is currently well above the DEQ standards.

1. Mount Ashland Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

Councilor Jackson presented her proposal "Additional City of Ashland Comment for Phased Construction and Detailed Study in the Middle Fork".

Councilor Hearn stated Jackson's efforts are admirable, but that this proposal does not seem to be embraced by either side of the debate. Hearn stated this proposal would increase costs 15-20%, equipment would need to be removed and then put back which could cause increased damage to the ground, and due to the phasing, funding would be a challenge to obtain.

Councilor Morrison stated it is their role to act responsibly. He noted after the previous council meeting, he felt they could have done more, and is happy to see they are making improvements. Morrison stated it should be the Council's goal to put together the best comment package possible.

Councilor Hartzell stated she would prefer to work directly with the lessee, not the Forest Service. Hartzell explained the City is the permit holder and whatever building that is done is on the City's behalf, and therefore it is within their control to ensure construction is completed in a way that protects the resources. Hartzell stated she could go along with Jackson's proposal if it stated they would not go into the Middle Branch.

Councilor Morrison read aloud "A Resolution Requesting the Forest Service to Consider a Community-Based Alternative in the Final EIS for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area."

Councilor Hartzell presented "Amendments to the DEIS Comments ", explaining it is important to have some clarification for the QA/QC team.

William Forester /500 Ashland Loop Rd./ Forester's written request supporting the Community-Based Alternative was read aloud by the Mayor.

Eric Navickas /711 Faith Ave./ Stated Alternative 3 and Jackson's proposal are illegal. Voiced his support for Alternative 5.

Darwin Thusius /897 Beach St./ Read aloud comments received by the Council after the October 7th Meeting that expressed conflicting opinions.

Bryan Holley /324 Liberty St./ Suggested the Council could have gone about things differently at the last meeting. Holley noted the Mayor was the past president of the Mt. Ashland Association, and feels he should have excluded himself from voting. He also would have liked the council to do a straw vote on each alternative, so the citizens know where each of them stands on the issue. Holley asked that Mt. Ashland Assoc. state how much money the expansion will take, and noted this money could have gone to save one of the schools. Holley voiced his support for Councilor Morrison's Resolution.

Ryan Navickas /711 Faith Ave./ Voiced appreciation for Councilor Hartzell's comments, and stated he does not feel the community's voice is heard in the comments. Navickas suggested the Council require the Forest Service to extend the deadline using the authority of the 1929 agreement.

Tonya Graham /418 Lit Way/ Headwaters Executive Director / Explained Alternative 3 was inspired by their work, however was modified to an extent that does not make it a viable solution. Graham voiced support for a modified Alternative 3, and also supports Councilor Hartzell's suggestions. Graham noted the lack of data and stated scientific analysis needs to be completed.

Tom Reid /92 Walker Ave./ Stated Councilor Jackson's proposal would add significant costs, the delay between construction would be difficult to accommodate, and would make fund raising virtually impossible.

Nick Joslin /327 Morton St./ Stated that Hartzell and Jackson are the only two councilors who recognize that there is a lack of data, and would like to see the infa-structure problems with Mt. Ashland fixed before an expansion takes place.

Jeff Hanson /13880 Hwy. 66/ Stated the solutions to the problems that Mr. Joslin mentioned are included in the expansion proposal, and stated the City's comments have been strong and effective, and are appreciated.

Linda Richards /245 E. Nevada St./ Explained that if it had been determined that the expansion was safe, she and others would be for it. Richards noted the beauty of the area that would be clear-cut, and stated there are better ways to spend money, including the schools, healthcare, and homelessness. Richards also mentioned the leading cause of extinction is habitat destruction, and urged the Council to save their water, mountain, and wildlands.

Greg Williams /744 Helman St./ Expressed his concerns with Councilor Jackson's proposal, especially Sections C and F. Williams stated he is worried the proposal will be half done and will not serve their purpose or needs.

Daniel Rueff /240 Ohio/ Asked the council to practice what they preach, and explained it is up to the people to unite in order to stop the government.

Michael Donovan /110 Westwood/ Stated Jackson's proposal would not work with the given timeline, and urged Alternatives 2 and 6 would be the best at protecting the resources while providing alpine recreation enjoyment. Donovan stated they can not stop the expansion simply because of potential, waiting for zero risk and zero harm.

Tom Dimitre /901 Beach St./Sierra Club/ Stated he supports Councilor Morrison's resolution, but not Jackson's proposal because they are against expansion in the Middle Branch.

Chris Fowler /966 Tyler Creek Rd./ Thanked the Council, but in particular Councilors Morrison, Jackson, and Hartzell for their efforts during this process. Stated this is a huge issue, and the Council should take the time it needs to make an appropriate decision.

Lyn Horstemeier /920 Cambridge/ Noted the similarities with Pelican Butte in Klamath, and noted a National Geographic article regarding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Debbie Jones / 1163 Bellview/ Feels the expansion will be done in the most environmentally beneficial way possible, noting that only 40 trees with a 12" diameter or larger will be cut down. Would like to see the Council treat Mt. Ashland Assoc. as they would any other non-profit organization, and to stop drawing this out and come to a conclusion.

Councilor Amarotico asked why Morrison had chosen to do a resolution over other means. City Administrator Gino Grimaldi explained that doing a resolution would spell out the reasons, where a simple vote would leave the Forest Service guessing. Councilor Amarotico also asked if the language could be altered in the resolution to read "additional alternative" instead of "separate".

Councilor Laws stated he thought that they were limiting themselves to comments, and does not feel that a resolution is a comment. Laws expressed his concern that tonight is the first he has seen or heard of this resolution, and does not think it is necessary or serves a purpose.

Councilor Hearn stated he would not vote for this resolution because it appears to give a strong endorsement over the other alternatives. Hearn did state that he would accept this resolution if language was inserted stating "the City does not intend to imply that the City endorses the Community Alternative, only that it should be analyzed along with the other 6 alternatives".

Councilor Hartzell stated she supports the current language, and explained that the councilors on the losing end of the vote have been scrambling to find a way to have their concerns heard. Hartzell added the original comments did not reflect the values of the community.

Councilor Jackson stated she supports this resolution, and feels there is value in respecting an alternative that a community group has been working hard on. Jackson stated she does not believe it endorses any particular alternative, and feels this combination of components is worth analysis by the Forest Service.

Councilor Morrison stated he has erred on the side of thoroughness, and noted if this resolution meets the Forest Service's criteria, new information would be included.

Councilor Laws stated that he does not feel that this resolution would do any harm, but feels it could be an insult to the Forest Service.

Councilor Hartzell / Jackson m/s to approve the Resolution Requesting the Forest Service to Consider a Community-Based Alternative in the Final EIS for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, with the exception the last sentence should read "The Forest Service should analyze the Community Alternative as an additional alternative in the final Environmental Statement for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. This request is not intended to imply endorsement of the alternative itself." Roll Call: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison, Hearn; YES. Motion Passed.

In regards to the Amendments to DEIS Comments, Councilor Amarotico asked about #7, and wanted to know how the Ashland Fire Department would analyze fire danger differently than the Forest Service. Fire Chief Keith Woodley stated the nature of the vegetation and the elevation are the main factors. Woodley stated there will be more buildings after the expansion, and explained that the structures need to be built with the understanding that they are building in a wildlands area, and noted the potential of a building fire becoming a watershed fire. He also clarified that the Forest Service only handles the wildlands, and any structural fires are not their responsibility.

Councilor Hartzell / Hearn m/s to accept the Amendments to the DEIS Comments as presented. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

Councilor Jackson stated she feels her proposal is valid because it takes a closer look at the Middle Branch and adds the consideration of the forest health as they move into construction. Jackson explained she would be willing to alter the language in the proposal to say "that the Forest Service consider...", and also stated she would be willing to remove the last sentence under Section C that stated "...after 4-5 years of monitoring".

Councilor Jackson / Hartzell m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

Councilor Hartzell stated she is concerned that they have empowered a QA/QC Team, and now they are adding on a different team in conjunction that has no authority. Councilor Jackson explained this team would not make the decision as to whether to go into the Middle Fork, but rather would bring the forest health evaluation into the decision about how to install if that alternative is chosen.

Councilor Jackson / Laws m/s to accept the Additional Comment for Phased Construction and Detailed Study in the Middle Fork, with the exception the second sentence of the first paragraph under Proposal should read: This proposal requests that the Forest Service consider restricting activity in the Middle Fork until Phase Two but allows the installation of Chair LC-6 to proceed in Phase One; And the last sentence under Proposal Section C is removed. Roll Call: Laws, Jackson, Morrison; YES. Amarotico, Hartzell, Hearn; NO. Mayor DeBoer, YES. Motion Passed.

Councilor Hartzell mentioned that a specialist with the Forest Service has offered to come to Ashland in November to meet with members of the community, and asked if the City would like to take him up on his offer.

1. City Forest Lands Restoration Project.
Keith Woodley, Fire Chief and Forest Lands Commissioner, explained this project is aimed at restoring the balance in the forest ecosystem. This project is planned for the lower watershed, which is approximately 183 acres, and would remove 460,000 board feet of timber by helicopter means.

Steve Jensen thanked the Ashland Forest Lands Commission for their hard work, and described this restoration project as "the best in the west". It was also noted that the primary extraction route would be Granite Street.

Eric Navickas /711 Faith Ave./ Stated 150 log trucks will be utilizing Granite Street, and noted that thin forests don't burn any less hot than thick forests. Navickas feels the removal of trees will set a precedent with the Forest Service, and hopes that this will raise the awareness in the community.

Councilor Morrison asked how it was determined which trees to remove. Marty Mane explained each tree was given a number and a reason if it needed to be removed. Some reasons include the trees are dead, some ware severely infected by bark beetles, and occasionally they chose to remove one of the smaller trees in order to save one of the larger, dominant trees.

Councilor Jackson stated she is very impressed with the quality of the proposal. Jackson stated the City is trying to achieve a healthier situation for the forest, which means having to remove some trees. She noted her concerns for the traffic, but feels the health of the watershed is a more important issue.

Councilor Hartzell stated she hopes the precision taken in this proposal does set a precedent with the Forest Service. In reply to the public concern of logging trucks on Granite St., Hartzell posed the comparison of log trucks coming down or fire trucks going up.

Councilor Hearn / Hartzell m/s to endorse the Forest Lands Restoration Project. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

2. Designation of Voting Delegate for LOC meeting.
Council nominates Mayor DeBoer and alternate Councilor Hartzell to be the delegates for the League of Oregon Cities Conference.

3. Request for Waiver of Community Development and Engineering Fees Associated with the Building Permit for Affordable Housing at 41 Garfield Street.
Director of Community Development John McLaughlin stated staff recommends that the Council waive the $7800 in fees for the affordable housing project at 41 Garfield Street.

Councilor Hearn / Jackson m/s to waive the Community Development and Engineering Fees Associated with the Building Permit for Affordable Housing at 41 Garfield Street. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

4. Acceptance of the dedication of the west half of Ann Street.

Councilor Morrison / Jackson m/s to accept the dedication. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

5. Status Report on 2003-2004 Council Goals and Suggested Timeline and process for 2004-2005 Goal Setting.
Item was tabled due to lack of time.

6. Motion Authorizing to Pledge City Assets to Secure a $10 Million Borrowing by Ashland Community Hospital for New Construction.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi explained the Finance Director has reviewed this proposal and agrees with the council action that is proposed. The reason this is before the Council is because they are linked with the Ashland Community Hospital and the hospital needs permission to encumber the assets in order to move forward with securing a loan.

Jim Watson, ACH Administrator, explained their lease agreement requires the hospital to seek permission from the City, as the owner of the hospital property, and ask that they release those assets. The hospital is proposing to expand their exterior walls in order to build additional surgical capacity, as well as a number of other features that are designed to meet the growing needs of the community. The City property has been appraised at $16 million, which if approved, will serve as collateral for the loan.

Councilor Morrison / Hearn m/s to authorize the pledging of hospital property assets. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

1. First reading of "An Ordinance Amending Ashland Municipal Code Section 2.04.040 by Revising Rules of the City Council with respect to Public Hearings and First Reading of an Ordinance Pertaining to the Public Hearing."

Item was tabled due to lack of time.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution amending Resolution No. 2002-22 entitled 'A Resolution Amending the Pay Schedule for Management and Confidential Employees for Fiscal Year 2002-2003' by amending the Pay Schedule for the Municipal Judge and City Recorder."
Item was tabled due to lack of time.

3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution amending Resolution No. 2003-24 entitled 'A Resolution Amending the Pay Schedule for Management and Confidential Employees for Fiscal Year 2003-2004' by amending the Pay Schedule for the Municipal Judge and City Recorder."
Item was tabled due to lack of time.

Councilor Hartzell stated the Planning Commission Study Session was cancelled, and is concerned that the commissioners were encouraged to participate in the Public Charrette instead.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

____________________________                      __________________________

April Lucas, Asst. to City Recorder                        Alan DeBoer, Mayor

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