CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Hearn and Morrison were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 17, 2004 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Lisa Brown dba Pasta Piatti located at 358 E. Main Street.
3. Termination of a Public Utility Easement at 755 Oak Street.
Councilor Hartzell requested item #3 be pulled for discussion.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 and #2. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin clarified that the adjustment to the parcel is permanent and cannot be subdivided. McLaughlin also noted that the easement runs from Oak Street to Tax Lot 2709. The owners of the property (Zaller & Geddes) wish to move the buildable area out of the flood plain and in order to do so the public utility easement needs to be terminated.
Councilor Amarotico/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
PUBLIC FORUM (None)
1. Adoption of the 2004-2005 Council Goals.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi explained that several modifications had been made to the Council Goals following Council's input at the last City Council Meeting. The next step is to approve the Goals; then Staff will generate the Work Plan and present it to the Council in mid-April.
Councilor Jackson pointed out that the goal to finish the Downtown Plan was not included, however it was a proposed goal listed by the Staff. Grimaldi informed the Council that this could still be added to the Council Goals.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that the Downtown Plan is something that Staff is continuing to work on, and that there are several components of the Plan listed in the Council Goals including the Parking Plan, Circulation Plan, and the Public Pedestrian Streetscape. He added that the timeframe has been pushed back a bit and they are looking at addressing the Parking Plan this spring. The Circulation Plan will be addressed next, which will address the issue of bike lanes.
Council discussed adding this as an agenda item for a future Council Meeting or scheduling a Study Session in order for Staff to present the entire Downtown Plan. Council discussed adding the completion of the Downtown Plan to the Council Goals with a fulfillment date by the end of fiscal year 2005
Grimaldi stated that he felt it would be appropriate to add this to the Council Goals and to schedule a work session in June to review the components of the Plan. He added that his recommendation would be to look at this goal during the next step of the process when Staff will be presenting the Work Plan to the Council. At that time, if the Council believes that an item would benefit from a Study Session, it can be identified and Study Sessions could be scheduled throughout the year.
Colin Swales/461 Alison Street/Brought attention to Goal #8 which stated "Amend ordinance to stop allowing single-family residential development in mixed-family residential zoning districts." Swales voiced concern that this conflicts with the other goals that mention the preservation of the Historic Districts. He noted that the majority of the residential Historic Districts are zoned multi-family and stated the City recently passed ordinance amendments that encourage affordable housing and multi-family housing in those zones. Swales is concerned with the language used in the goal and questioned if a owner lost their home to a fire, would they be able to replace their single-family dwelling?
Ron Roth/ 6550 Old Hwy 99S/Submitted a two page letter to the
Council which listed the following suggestions:
Element III - Housing: Would like to add "The City of Ashland has the responsibility to do everything possible to help provide housing in Ashland for people who work in Ashland."
Goal #3: Roth volunteered to be a member of the Charter Review Committee.
Goal #7: Stated the Goal did not mention the Ski Area and feels if the City is going to be involved with the entire Ashland Watershed, than the Mt. Ashland Ski and Snowboard Resort needs to be part of the mix.
Goal #8: Would add that the City coordinate with the ASD, SOU, OSF, ACH and private employers; also suggests performing an inventory of all publicly owned lands that are currently undeveloped or under utilized that could provide land for affordable housing.
Goal #13: Feels that dealing with AFN and figuring out what's happening there should be the over-riding goal for the Council for this year.
Goal #14: Stated the bullet points listed are all great ideas.
Goal #18: Would like to see a Flood Emergency Procedure where a chain of command is established and questioned who would be in charge in the absence of Public Works Director Paula Brown.
Mayor DeBoer voiced concern over the wording "Amend ordinance to stop allowing single-family residential..."
Councilor Hearn commented that he also had concern with the ability to replace a single-family home under the current proposed wording in Goal 8.
Councilor Hartzell proposed changing the language to read "Adopt strategies to limit single-family residential development in mixed-family residential zoning districts." She also clarified that a recommendation made at the last Council Meeting was not included; The last bullet point for Goal #8 should read "Provide in-kind support to ACLT to further affordable housing for Ashland." Hartzell also commented on the proposed Charter Review and noted that she had not heard what the problems were that would warrant changes to the Charter. She felt that the Council was going for a solution without defining what the problems were.
Mayor DeBoer explained there were some things in the City Charter that had not been changed since 1970, noting issues regarding the Hospital. He commented that it is normal for a City Charter to be reviewed every 30-40 years. Councilor Hearn stated he would be interested at looking into the differences between a City Administrator for of government and a City Manager form of government. Councilor Laws noted that the National Civic League has a model Charter for cities to look at as well as a suggested process for which Charter Reviews should be conducted.
Councilor Morrison stated this was left open because it is not just an amendment process, but a periodic review. The League of Oregon Cities recommends that a Charter Review be completed every 20 years, and that Ashland is somewhat behind in this process.
Grimaldi responded to a question regarding the large number of goals being presented by explaining that the biggest point of pressure is within the Planning/Community Development Department and getting through some of the long-range plans would require additional Staff.
Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve 2004-2005 Council Goals with the corrections to Goal #8: "Adopt strategies to limit single-family residential development in mixed-family residential zoning districts" and "Provide in-kind support to ACLT to further affordable housing for Ashland" and also to add the goal "Complete the update of the Downtown Plan." DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell clarified that it is her understanding that the City does have a Flood Emergency Plan and noted that the Fire Plan being discussed is separate from the Flood Plan which is already in place. Councilor Jackson expressed her thanks for the comments received in respect to Housing, and noted that those items will be included in the work performed by the Housing Commission this year. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS (None)
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Councilor Jackson announced that Southern Oregon Economic Coalition is putting on an Economic Development Seminar scheduled for Monday, March 8th at the OSU Extension Center. It is called the Food Connection and is designed to foster collaboration between farmers, ranchers, chefs, retailers and processors committed to expanding and strengthening regional and sustainable agriculture.
Jackson also provided an update on the Regional Problem Solving Process. She explained that for the last nine months the Council of Governments has been waiting for the individual cities to take action on endorsing the policies and identifying the future growth areas. The individual participants on the Policy Committee were beginning to feel bogged down in process. She explained that some of the communities were not comfortable with the process, and that the Policy Committee had directed the Council of Government to set up a forum, which is being called the Great Group Meeting. This group will consist of all of the committees who have worked on the project. All elected officials are invited to attend for a question and answer session and to voice any concerns that they may have. Jackson added that the City of Phoenix, Central Point and Eagle Point have all raised concerns, and noted there is the risk that if one of the cities pulls out, the entire project could fall apart.
Councilor Morrison stated that although Ashland did not designate an expansion area, he would like to convey to the Committee that we are still behind the process.
Councilor Hartzell brought to the Council's attention a recent change in the Staff's legal opinion in regards to the DeBoer Residence.
Assistant City Attorney Mike Franell explained that the question was in regards to a land use matter and whether an appeal would need to be made directly to LUBA or if there is an appeal process to the City Council. Franell relayed that after going through the Code in depth, City Attorney Paul Nolte concluded that he believed that an appeal could be made to the City Council. Franell stated that when there is a Staff decision that is appealed to the Board or the Commission, our Code defines that as a Type II Planning Action, and there are appeals of Type II Planning Actions to the City Council provided for in the code. Although the code does not directly state that a Staff decision may be appealed to the Council, through this round about process there can be.
Franell explained the "calling up" process, that this is one option provided for by City Code. If there was no appeal to the City Council and Council felt that there were important policy decisions in the Staff decision, the Council could call that up for consideration. He stated that this is not the only way for a Staff decision to be appealed before the Council; an appellant could also appeal and bring it to the Council.
Councilor Hartzell mentioned the Wildfire Home Show, which will be happening next Saturday at the New Armory from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. She explained that the City has taken advantage of the National Park Plan money to allow cautionary programs for private landowners in the Wildland Urban Interface. This has allowed landowners to get work done on their property. She noted the partnerships that put this event together. She encouraged all those that live in the Wildland Interface to attend and suggested that residents in the low lands also consider stopping by.
Upon receipt of a request to speak by Sid DeBoer, Assistant City Attorney Mike Franell stated that since there is potential for future public hearings regarding the DeBoer Property, it is his advise that they not discuss this before the Council at this time. The request to speak was denied.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
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