Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

November 18, 2003 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street


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

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 4 and Study Session Minutes of November 5 were approved as presented.

1. Presentation of donation to the Ashland Fiber Network by the Cow Creek Tribe.

Mayor DeBoer explained that the representatives were not able attend this evenings meeting and acknowledged the City's appreciation of the $50,000 donation from the tribe.

2. Announcement of Tree of the Year.
Tree Commissioner Bryan Holley announced that the Tree of the Year is a Pecan Tree located between 762 and 774 B Street. Holley thanked all that were involved, and noted that the selection this year was moved from the spring to the fall so that deciduous trees could be included.

3. Introduction of General Manager for Rogue Valley Transportation District.
RVTD Board Member Connie Skillman introduced Peter Jacobson as the new General Manger for the Rogue Valley Transportation District.

4. Update on Siskiyou Boulevard Construction.
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave a brief update on the Siskiyou Boulevard construction, stating the project is expected to be completed by December 15th, however may be delayed due to weather conditions. Brown further explained that they require at least two days of good weather in order to complete the final lift of paving. Brown stated they are well within budget for the project, and worst case scenario would be the final paving is delayed until April.

Mayor DeBoer noted the attendance at the League of Oregon Cities Conference by himself, Councilor Hartzell and City Administrator Gino Grimaldi.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Diane E. White to the Forest Lands Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2004.
3. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Jack Christman to the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2005.
4. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Keith Swink to the Historic Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2004.
5. Termination of power line easement located at 997 Oneida Circle.

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

Mayor DeBoer noted an opening on the Traffic Safety Commission.


1. Public Hearing regarding Appeal of Planning Action 2003-105 (A request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow the existing 6,858 sq. ft. interior of the National Guard Armory facility, located at 1420 East Main Street, to be used for a variety of events, including trade shows, flea markets, community events, and private parties between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and midnight). Applicant: Oregon Military Department

Mayor read aloud the procedure for the Public Hearing.

Public Hearing Open: 7:30 p.m.

Ex parte Contacts
Mayor DeBoer declared a potential conflict due to his ownership of the Historic Ashland Armory.
Councilor Amarotico also stated a potential conflict.

Staff Report
Assistant Planner Brandon Goldman explained this is an appeal by the Oregon Military Department, in regards to a request for a conditional use permit for both public and private events. The request was originally approved with 6 conditions. After the approval, Staff received a number of public concerns, and held a public hearing in front of the Planning Commission as a result. In acknowledgement of the public testimony, Staff recommended that two additional conditions be added to the permit:

1) "Conditional Uses shall be limited to 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday."
2) "No more than 12 conditional use activities occur past 7:00 p.m. during a given month"

Councilor Jackson inquired about the zoning of the Armory.

Goldman explained the property is zoned SO, which is the Southern University Zone. As part of this zone, SOU has produced a master plan that delineates the use of all parts of their property. Brandon further explained this property is under SOU ownership and the National Guard leases the property. As part of the master plan, the area is included in the Community Partnership Area, which means the Armory is intended to be used for non-SOU activities, including partnerships with other organizations for use of the facilities.

Councilor Hartzell asked under the SO Zone, is there a definition of what requires a Conditional Use Permit?

Goldman explained there is criteria that states activities or new uses within 50 feet of residentially owned property triggers a Conditional Use Permit. Goldman also stated that National Guard activities and community events are permitted under the original approval, and that this Conditional Use has to do with those activities that are more commercial in nature.

Col. Mike Caldwell/2215 Dorchester Drive, Salem
Lt. Col. Rendell Chelton/1776 SE Militia Way, Salem

Caldwell stated that the Military entered into an agreement with the Oregon Dept. of Higher Education in January 1979, the Armory was then constructed, and the Military has been renting it out for events for the past 15 years. Caldwell stated they have contacted SOU to determine what type of uses they are using their own on-campus location for, and found that they are using it for similar type uses as the armory. The University rents their facilities to the public and has stated that they are not required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit. The Oregon Military Dept. believes that the rental use of the Ashland Armory is comparable to that of the University, and therefore are appealing to the conditions set by the permit. Caldwell stated that under Oregon legislature they are required to obtain a certain amount of funds from the use of the Armory in order to offset the cost of their operations. Caldwell noted that their use satisfies the criteria set by the Ashland Municipal Code sections 18.104.050A and 18.104.050C, and also mentioned that the Municipal Code states that use should be permitted without imposition of conditional uses regarding hours of use, or number of events. Caldwell concluded by stating if it is determined that they must obtain a permit, they do not feel they should be limited to 12 uses per month or adhere to the limited hours available for renting.

Chelton added that Ashland is the only city that is requiring a Conditional Use Permit, and clarified the types of events being held would be community-oriented, such as anniversary and birthday parties, which would not pose a significant impact on the community. Chelton explained the revenue from these events is very critical to keeping their people employed and offsetting the cost to operate their facilities.

In Favor of Applicant
Kent Cutting/1447 E. Main/
Cutting stated he is upset by the individuals claiming there is noise coming from the Armory, and can't believe their is opposition to the Military Dept. and what they are trying to accomplish. He explained he is not bothered by the events at the Armory, despite the proximity to his home, and stated these facilities are here for a reason and should be used for community events.

Julie Alves/251 E Hersey/ Events Marketing Coordinator for the Armories of Southern Oregon/ Alves stated the Armory has been scheduling these events for the past 15 years, and not one person from the Millpond area was complaining until the events were brought to their attention in the paper. She explained the types of events that would be hindered by these conditions, and stated the majority of the events would be non-commercial. Alves mentioned the '96 flood and asked the Council to consider what would happen if the Armory did not obtain the funds that enabled them to function.

Opposed to Applicant

Johanna Fisher/77 Mallard/President of Millpond Homeowner's Association/ Spoke on behalf of herself and the Association, stating their objection was against the Military's request to hold events until midnight, 7 days a week. Fisher stated if this happens, the community will suffer from the increase in noise, light, and traffic, and will cause sleep deprivation in the neighborhood.

Sidney Abrahams/89 Mallard/ Stated the Armory is quiet the majority of the time, however he has been awakened at least three times in the past 12 years due to loud music. Abrahams asked the Council to adhere to the Planning Commission's recommended conditions.

Susan Rust/42 N. Wightman/ Spoke regarding the zoning compatibility issue, stating the SO zoning allows for a variety of uses "which are directly related to the educational functions of Southern Oregon University...". No where does it mention commercial or profit making activities, or any sort of use that might threaten the peace, quiet, and safety of the residents and visitors in the surrounding homes, parks, bikeways, and schools. Rust urged the Council to either deny the permit outright or uphold the compromise set by the Planning Commission.

Moe Ross/157 Blue Heron/ Stated he supports his neighbors and treasures the quietness. Ross asked if it was a possibility for the permit to be revoked later down the line.

Edith Montgomery/156 Blue Heron/ Stated the conditions set by the Planning Commission addressed the concerns of the citizens, and urged the Council to let the Commission's decision stand.

Selene Raffel/75 N Wightman/ Stated the Armory could hold 365 events a year and maintain the funds needed without infringing on the neighborhood. Raffell asked that the Council preserve the neighborhoods peace and quiet by letting the Planning Commission's compromise stand.

Staff Response
Council briefly discussed several issues, including: traffic generation, noise impacts, target use of the SO Zone, monitoring the activities, how to interpret the regulations, and adjusting the cut-off time from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Staff stated the intent of the conditions were to try to control the level of commercial activity, and the associated noise and light distractions.

Caldwell stated the events are clearly within the 50-ft. regulation. He also stated their concern is regarding the 12 conditional uses per month, stating that 7 p.m. is too restrictive, and would like a minimum of 12 p.m. set for the weekends.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:00 p.m.

Council Deliberation
Council discussed:
• changing the C.U.P. time from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., or deleting condition #8 entirely
• how to distinguish between community and commercial events
• keeping records of the events, including dates and when they concluded
• the legality of defining the different types of events
• adding new conditions to the application

Hartzell m/s to deny the appeal and add the conditions that increased illumination be confined to the boundary lines, a record of events be maintained by the National Guard, and that staff define community events separate from the events that would happen under the conditional use permit. No Second, Motion Dies.

Councilor Hartzell stated her intent of the motion was to the address the concerns of the neighbors regarding light and glare, and wanted to set a reasonable standard.

Jackson/Laws m/s to add three conditions to those imposed by the Planning Commission: 1) direct Staff to come back with a definition of how to distinguish what falls under the conditional use permit, and to direct the applicant to maintain a log so that they can ascertain how that is working; 2) use the Parks criteria for the dark sky protection; 3) change Planning Commission condition #8 to read "that no more than 12 Conditional Use activities occur past 8:00 p.m. during a given month". Roll Call Vote: Laws, Jackson, Hearn; YES. Amarotico, Hartzell; No. Motion Passed 3-2.

Randy Johnson/1401 Oregon Street #495/
Explained that landlords have been discriminating against possible tenants due to their educational status, and asked if the Housing Commission or City could assist in this problem. Johnson also stated the Electric Company has turned down an older student who applied for the City Energy Assistance Program, and asked that the Council look into this matter as well.

Jim Featherstone/548 C Street/ Spoke regarding a request for sewer/water connection to 1525 Tolman Creek Road due to failure of the well and septic system.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/ Updated the Council on the expansion of Ski Ashland and provided the EPA comments for the Ski Ashland DEIS.

Bill Skillman/635 Oak Knoll/ Made favorable comments about the Ashland Police Department.


1. Quarterly Financial Report: July - September, 2003.

Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the financial report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003. The report included:
• Summary of Cash and Investments as of September 30 for the last two years
• Combined Statement of Financial Position
• Schedule of Revenues by Fund
• Schedule of Budgetary Compliance per Resolution #2003-31

Tuneberg explained that the reports are intended to present information in formats consistent with the department, fund, and business activity included in the adopted FY 2003-2004 budget document and the manner in which it will be shown in the end of the year report. Tuneberg stated they are about where they are suppose to be, and explained the next quarter will be a better telling quarter.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to accept Quarterly Financial Report for September 30, 2003. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

2. Council Authorization to dispose of surplus property valued in excess of $10,000.
Tuneberg stated Staff is seeking approval from Council to authorize the Purchasing Agent to dispose of surplus equipment in the amount of $108,600. Tuneberg explained the disposals are usually done by trade-ins or a sealed bid.

Councilor Hartzell/Laws m/s to approve authorization to dispose of surplus property. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

3. Charter Cable Television Franchise Renewal.
City Attorney Paul Nolte explained the new agreement is for a 5-year term. The previous agreement (which expired in May of this year) was a 20-yr. contract, but due to the rapidly changing industry, a 5-yr. term is in the best interest of the City. Nolte stated the negotiations centered around the PEG Access fees. Charter has agreed to pay $.75 per customer, and will also be giving the City a $50,000 grant for PEG Access equipment that will be used to improve the equipment in the Council Chambers.

Nolte stated the major differences in this agreement are:
1) the definition of gross revenue excludes "launch fees"
2) language was added in paragraph 3.6 to restrict the City's access to customer names
3) it includes that the City "shall endeavor to require a similar financial contribution, or an equivalent benefit for PEG Access, from Ashland Fiber Network Cable Television (AFN) upon the renewal of AFN's cable franchise."

Nolte noted one more change that needed to be made to section 7.1.1, which should include customer identification numbers not be divulged to City staff for privacy concerns.

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

Council discussed the possibility of mutually selecting the audit officer.

Gary McDonald/2782 Oak View Avenue, Central Point/ General Manager for Charter Communications/ Commented on customer data, and stated it is his understanding that under the Privacy Act imposed on cable operators, the City cannot participate in any way where there is potential for information to be divulged.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve franchise agreement with the change to a mutual selection of auditor, and if this is not successful the issue would come back to the Council. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

1. Second reading by title only 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."

Councilor Jackson/Hearn m/s to approve Ordinance #2902. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Jackson, Laws, Amarotico, Hearn, YES. Motion Passed.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting the Time and Place for a Public Hearing on the Withdrawal of Certain Real Property from Jackson County Fire District No. 5, and Directing Publication of Notice as Required by ORS 222.524 (Russ Dale Annexation, 250 Clay Street)."

Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2003-36. Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Hearn, Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, YES. Motion Passed.

Mayor DeBoer noted a Joint Study Session with Council and Planning Commission is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on November 25th.

Councilor Hartzell stated an Open House on the Riparian Ordinance will be held Thursday at 7p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor

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