Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, January 26, 2004

City of Ashland

City of Ashland




January 26, 2004



Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies

Absent: None


Chair Lewis called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Regular Meeting – December 15, 2003 Under Sub-Committee and Staff Reports item "Golf Course Sub-Committee Report," Commissioner Rosenthal asked that the minutes be amended to reflect that the newspaper advertising campaign for the Oak Knoll Golf Course is targeted toward Medford area residents, not Medford area golf courses. Vice-Chair Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Commissioner Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum - None



Commissioner Eggers stated, for the record, that the Commission is not required to appoint new officers every year. She then expressed her interest in serving as Vice-Chair in 2004.

MOTION Commissioner Eggers made a motion to nominate Vice-Chair Gardiner as Chair in 2004. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

MOTION Vice-Chair Gardiner made a motion to nominate Commissioner Eggers as Vice-Chair in 2004. Chair Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no



Director Robertson referenced the memo contained in the packets and clarified that it was included for informational purposes.


Director Robertson apologized for the misleading title of the agenda topic and suggested that a more appropriate title might have been, "Preparation for the Billings Ranch Golf Course Public Hearing Scheduled for February 9, 2004." He asked the Commission for direction in preparing for the public hearing and directed their attention to the documents from Mr. Gael Kubli and the Bear Creek Greenway Committee regarding the proposed golf course project.

Susan Rust, 42 N. Wightman, expressed concerns about the proposed project, including insufficient details about a pesticide program, plans for runoff into Bear Creek and Wright’s Creek, and potential lack of pond discharge monitoring, all of which could impact the creeks and the Greenway. She asked the Commission to request answers from the County about such concerns before their granting of a Conditional Use Permit for the project.

Gerry Lehrburger, 1639 Jackson Road, who lives in the neighborhood near the proposed Billings Ranch Golf Course, voiced environmental concerns about the project, stating that the region under consideration is a unique section of land that deserves special protection.

Chris Uhtoff, 78 Fourth Street, spoke about the high quality of the area under consideration for the Billings project, reiterating that it is environmentally unique and needs to be protected.

Paul Kay, 1234 Strawberry Lane, indicated that he lives on Wright’s Creek, several miles upstream from the proposed project. He is neither an opponent nor a proponent of the golf course project, but thinks that the golf course, if it is built, must enhance every entity affected by the development.

Michael Hays, 670 Oak Knoll Drive, voiced his concern about the financial impacts the new golf course might have on the existing Oak Knoll Golf Course and pondered how that property could be used if the course were to go out of business as a result of the new competition.

Gael Kubli, 1100 Eagle Mill Road, referenced the written comments he sent to the Jackson County Planning Department, stating that the Billings project is an Ashland issue and affects the entire city. He further asserted that nature and nature tourism attracts citizens and tourists to Ashland, and disruption of such a unique ecosystem potentially could harm the local economy.

Ra Wollenburg, 1639 Jackson Road, asked that a land use compatibility study be conducted by Jackson County to determine whether nature study and golfing are a viable combination for that one parcel of land.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner Rosenthal asked how the Commission could most effectively communicate with the Jackson County Planning Department. Director Robertson responded that a written correspondence would probably be an effective method of communication, and he suggested that Staff draft a letter for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Chair’s review and signature.

MOTION Commissioner Eggers made the following motion: "Since the community of Ashland and the larger community of the Bear Creek Valley has been working for years to improve water quality in Bear Creek, to enhance riparian conditions and habitat and to provide sensitive access for recreation in the Bear Creek Greenway, we urge that any development allowed on the Billings Ranch Golf Course, and associated areas in the application, preserve and enhance these values. We further request that the County require that all these issues be addressed with specific plans in their Conditional Use Permit application." Vice-Chair Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no



Director Robertson referenced the correspondence from the Native Plant Society requesting a long-term agreement with the Department to use the Community Center for its annual meeting. He asked for direction from the Commission in determining the role of both the Department and the Commission in establishing such a long-term agreement. He also indicated that Staff received a request from the Ashland Gun Club to extend its lease. Finally, he reported that Staff met with both groups and invited them to make their requests in person at the next Regular Meeting of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Chair Lewis suggested notifying the Ashland Historic Commission about the next meeting, since there is an historic site at the Gun Club range relating to the City’s lithia water supply. In terms of the Native Plant Society request, Vice-Chair Gardiner questioned whether there are any other existing long-term lease agreements in the City, and Director Robertson provided him with pertinent information. The Commission agreed to review both topics at their next Regular meeting.



Chair Lewis reported on the most recent meeting of the Trail Master Plan Committee, held on January 15. Committee members Lewis and Amarotico, along with Director Robertson, interviewed three citizen candidates for the two available citizen-at-large positions, and subsequently invited Jim McGinnis and Bob Altaras to join the committee, based on their experiences with trails issues and high levels of interest in serving on the committee. He indicated that both candidates accepted their invitations to join the committee.


Superintendent Gies referenced the memo in the Commission packets updating them on the Department’s projects, and volunteered to answer questions from the Commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner Eggers asked about the Open Space Funding Committee’s decision to focus on SDCs as a funding source, stating that SDCs will only provide a small portion of funding needed for open space purchases. Chair Lewis, an OS Committee member, agreed and said that it was the easiest funding source the group could agree on, and that the committee will continue to look for additional funding sources.

Commissioner Eggers asked about the status of frost-free drinking fountains in City parks. Superintendent Gies responded that the goal is to install one per year and the Department is on track with its 6-year plan.

Commissioner Rosenthal asked about the status of the Calle Guanajuato Stairway Project. Superintendent Gies reported that the project will be re-bid in the next four to six weeks and that the project will be completed in the spring or the summer.

Chair Lewis asked about the improvements at the BMX Bike Park and Superintendent Gies informed the Commission that he will contact the citizens (who previously expressed interested in helping with that work) and set up a meeting to discuss specific plans for moving forward with the project.


Commissioner Eggers, who is the Parks Commissioner appointed to the Forest Lands Commission, updated the Commission on one of the goals of that commission, which is to design a program, and seek funding, for a noxious weed control program. This goal was forwarded to the Ashland City Council. She also reported that a new member, Diane White, has joined the Forest Lands Commission. Ms. White is an ecologist with the Forest Service. Commissioner Eggers further reported that bids for the Restoration #2 Project are due on January 21, 2004. The goal of that project is to thin trees for ecological reasons, including fire hazard reduction in the lower portion of the City-owned lands of the watershed. The thinning project is scheduled for completion in May of 2004.

Vice-Chair Gardiner thanked Chair Lewis, on behalf of the Commission, for his work as Chair of the Ashland Parks and Recreation over the past year.


    • Trail Master Plan Committee Meeting set for 1:00 PM January 29, 2004, Parks Department Office, 340 S. Pioneer.
    • Budget and Goal Setting Study Session set for 4:30 PM February 2, 2004, Parks Department Office, 340 S. Pioneer.
    • Budget and Goal Setting Study Session set for 7:00 PM February 9, 2004, Parks Department Office, 340 S. Pioneer.
    • Signs, Memorials, and Plaques Review Study Session – postponed to a future date.
    • Cross Country Running in Lithia Park Study Session – postponed until March.
      • Vice-Chair Gardiner will represent the Commission.
    • Regular Meeting set for 7:00 PM February 23, 2004, Council Chambers – 1175 E. Main.
      • Request by the Native Plant Society to use the Community Center for annual meeting on a long-term basis.
      • Request by the Ashland Gun Club to extend its lease.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Lewis adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Office Manager, Ashland Parks and Recreation


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