February 5th, 2004
Regular Meeting Minutes
Commissioners in attendance were Bryan Holley, Bryan Nelson, Laurie Sager, Fred Stockwell and Ted Loftus. Also in attendance were Cate Hartzell, Council Liaison, Donn Todt, Parks Department Liaison and Mark Knox, Planning Department Liaison.
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Ted Loftus, Chair.
Approval of Minutes:
Minutes for January meeting were approved with corrections from Bryan Holley and seconded by Lori Sager. After motion, minutes approved by unanimous voice vote.
Welcome Guests & Public Forum:
Mary Pritchard and Randall Hopkins were in attendance along with the applicant, Evan Archered and the Landscape Architect John Galbraith for the Staff Report and Review of Planning Action 2003-126.
Planning Action Items:
PLANNING ACTION 2003-126 is a request for Outline Plan and Site Review approval for a four-lot, 13-unit, multi-family project (three four-plexes and one single family residence) under the Performance Standards Option on the property located at 954 B Street. The project involves the construction of three, two-story, four-plex condominium buildings on three of the lots, while maintaining the existing single family residence on its own lot. Comprehensive Plan Designation: High Density Multi-Family Residential ; Zoning: R-3; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 09 AC; Tax Lot: 2600 and 3001.
APPLICANT: Archerd/Dresner, LLC
Staff presented the background of the application noting the site plan has changed substantially from the time it was initially submitted. The previous plan showed the driveway extending into the middle of the buildings, forcing the buildings to the property lines and creating a large parking lot area in the center. The plan had limited open space but an extensive asphalt area for parking and turn around.
The proposed plan shows the driveway on the adjacent neighbors property (east) extending from "B" Street to Eureka Street. The plan allows for shared reciprocal access and better connectivity for pedestrians. The plan provides for not only more open space and less impervious surface but also allows for connectivity to other streets. Staff also noted that the project is designed to retain the 12 new units as rentals, but that each 4-plex will remain on its own tax lot.
The applicant considered all the trees on the property including the row of trees along the east property line where the proposed driveway is, but due to their health, shared access issues, and increased open space factors, this plan was preferred. The site has 27 trees and 19 are proposed to be removed. Of the 19, only 3 are considered good to fair. 16 of the trees are multi-trunk, damaged, or have had no maintenance.
Ted Loftus asked about adding additional landscape islands/fingers within the parking area to help screen and soften the asphalt area.
Evan Archerd, applicant, noted the proposal was a collaborative effort between the neighbors and staff and that the new plan was better. He stated that Ted’s concerns could be resolved by adding additional landscape areas. He commented on the old home’s preservation efforts as well as their attempt to provide more rental stock to Ashland. The units will not be converted to condominiums. He noted that the Home Owners Association will provide long term maintenance to the trees and plantings.
Lori Sager asked about the watering responsibilities for the trees on the east side of the new driveway. Staff noted the trees will likely be removed with any future development of the property. Evan stated it would be part of the Home Owner Associations responsibility. Bryan Nelson asked if larger specimen trees could be planted closer to the parking area to help increase shade. Ted Loftus asked if Tree #25 could be retained and incorporated into one of the new landscape islands/fingers. John Galbraith, project’s Landscape Architect, noted the tree’s health was in question as evaluated in August and appears to have Woodpecker damage.
Lori Sager and Bryan Holley commented positively about the site planning. Commissioner discussion continued about the trees on the east side of the driveway. Lori Sager asked about having a mixed variety and Cate Hartzell asked about planting trees that could be transplanted easier or could if the trees could be clustered in order to minimize impact from future development? Discussion followed pertaining to the City’s Site Design Standards and how the adjacent property to the east will likely be developed.
Ted Loftus asked if the driveway could be one-way in order to add additional landscape islands. Lori Sager and Bryan Nelson suggested some alternative design considerations in order to increase the number of islands.
Bryan Holley summarized the Tree Commission’s recommendations: 1) That the trees on the east side of the driveway be a mixed variety; 2) that the applicant explore the possibility of identifying trees that are more likely to survive a relocation as these trees are likely to be removed or relocated with any future development; 3) That at least two landscape fingers be placed within the parking area to help break-up the mass of asphalt. 4) And that additional larger, stature trees be planted in the bike parking area for additional hardscape/parking area shading and that consideration be given to preserving the Almond Tree (Tree #25).
Bryan Holley asked to speak about the recent tree removal out at The Oaks Subdivision since Evan Archerd and John Galbraith were present. Bryan stated that he has learned a lot about Madrone Trees from Donn Todt and said although he understands the need to remove hazardous trees, the Tree Commission should be advocates for trees. Evan Arched discussed the history behind this particular Madrone Tree and that its health condition was not noticed during the original assessment. All of the proper requirements were completed. Lori Sager suggested there should be a checklist for hazardous trees. Donn Todt suggested he would devise a form and bring it in for review and that it could be copied on the back of the Tree Removal Request Form.
Bryan Holley asked that these be listed by only "goals" and to leave off "review".
Urban Forester – Sager, Loftus, Holley. They met with Gino Grimaldi, City Administrator, who offered some advice. One of Gino’s suggestions was to identify the "need" for the position and the second was to go to the Budget Committee and present a request. Discussion about the new Assistant Planner could possibly take on some responsibilities. Donn Todt noted that there is public liability with aging street trees which need to be inventoried. The Commission agreed to e-mail John McLaughlin and setup a meeting with him.
Education/Outreach – Nothing to report
Tree Ordinance Mitigation – Donn Todt has identified a site at the Middle School. John McLaughlin is to make a budget account that the Park’s Department can draw from.
B Liaison Reports
Cate Hartzell noted THAT she had nothing to report. Donn Todt gave a brief report on the Park’s Tree Removal 2004 report. SHE Suggested the report be submitted in December instead of January as this better fits the current process. Donn noted that at least five arborists assess the trees in November and he suggested the Commissioners attend this year on a site inpection tour of proposed tree actions and Tree Commissioners enthusiastically accepted this proposal and all said they would attend this November’s Parks site tour.
Staff noted that the report will be available for the Commission’s March meeting. Bryan Holley asked if the report could be presented by one of the Utility Department Staff. Staff noted the request it will be forwarded.
Bryan Nelson said that he finished this matrix and gave it to Robbin and asked for it to be included in next month’s packet.
The Commission briefly discussed the Street Tree Guide and its availability to the public. Questions were raised about how it will be used by front counter staff and how it could be used as an education tool. It was agreed the education subcommittee should discuss this subject and report back to the full Commission. Mark Knox was asked to report back to the Commission whether and/or how the matrix is being/will be used by the front counter staff.
Bryan Nelson stated no decision has been made but that the next step for the Tree Commission is to come up with a list of trees. Lori Sager, Fred Stockwell, January Jennings and Brian Nelson will create a subcommittee.
Staff noted that Robbin Pearce will be talking with John McLaughlin about this issue. Robbin hopes to have something by April. She will present it to the Tree Commission at that time.
G. Design Professional Ordinance
Staff noted that City Attorney Paul Nolte is working on some language with other ordinance amendments per John McLaughlin’s January Tree Commission comments.
Seeds from Jay Herbert Stone Nursery – The Commission noted they were not interested in this program.
Tree at Siskiyou and S. Mountain (Hopkins’ Complaint) – Robbin will be submitting a report regarding this issue. The report should be available in next month’s packet. Cate Hartzell suggested a "complaint file" be created.
2004 Arbor Day/Week/Month Planning – The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 24th. The Commission discussed the ceremonial planting site. Lori Sager suggested the Riverwalk Development site off of North Mountain. Ted Loftus suggested a site on Siskiyou Boulevard and that coordination with the adjacent property owner will be necessary. Donn Todt suggested two areas on the High School campus. The Commission discussed going to the City Council to present their activities. Robbin Pearce will be working on the Banner to see if it can be hung over East Main Street. Bryan Holley noted that he will contact Ann Seltzer in order to get an article in the City Source. Discussion about possibly getting an editorial in the Tidings.
The Commission discussed the idea of creating a calendar to give to other Commissioners and sell to citizens or tourists. Fred Stockwell noted that in order to make it viable, 5000 calendars would be needed at a cost of $7,500. The problem would be distribution. Discussion ensued, but it was decided the Education Subcommittee would discuss it and return to the Commission with a report. Subcommittee should further discuss this issue.
The Commission agreed to continue to begin its monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m. until further notice.
The Commission discussed four trees to be removed at 369 Granite Street. Bryan Holley suggested it was a perfect opportunity to educate the public about "right tree, right place' planting. Could pictures be taken by Fred Stockwell? Fred agreed to photograph the trees.
Cate Hartzell asked the Commission if they ever went out on annual site visits? Sager and Nelson mentioned the Commissioner’s efforts in 2003 to site-inspect and the out come of those efforts. The Commission agreed to discuss it at their next meeting in March.
Mark Knox announced that maybe Maria Harris will be Planning Staff for the March meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55pm.