Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

June 1, 2004 - 7:00 p.m.
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.

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

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 18, 2004 were approved as presented.

Russ Dale presented to the City of Ashland a comprehensive map of Ashland.

Proclamations of June 14, 2004 as Flag Day in the City of Ashland and June 17, 2004 as Methamphetamine Awareness Day were read aloud.


1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Diane Williams, and re-appointments of David Bernard and Marilyn Hanna to the Hospital Board for terms to expire June 30, 2008.
3. Liquor License Application from Quinn Courtright dba Alex's Plaza Restaurant & Bar at 35 North Main Street.
4. Ambulance License Renewal.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


1. Continuation of Appeal of Planning Action No. 2004-02, a request for Site Review and Tree Removal Permit to construct a multi-floor, 8,325 sq. ft. mixed use building at 88 North Main Street. A Physical and Environmental Constraints Review Permit is requested to permit "development" within the Ashland Floodplain Corridor. Applicant: Lloyd Haines.

Mayor DeBoer explained the public hearing process and re-opened the public hearing at 7:13 p.m.

Mayor DeBoer received emails from Randall Hopkins and Betty Jo Reynolds, and a memo from Councilor Jackson. Councilor Hartzell conducted a site visit. Councilor Morrison received the same emails mentioned by the Mayor, as well as an email from Assistant Attorney Mike Franell.

Due to time constraints, Council agreed to open the public hearing to consider the adoption of the 2004-2005 Budget before continuing with the public hearing for Planning Action 2004-02.

2.   Public Hearing to consider adoption of 2004-2005 Budget.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained the process for adopting the budget and summarized the information provided to the Council.


Continued Public Hearing of PA 2004-02:

OPPOSED TO APPLICANT [continued from Council meeting of May 18, 2004]
Randall Hopkins/735 S Mountain Avenue/Mr. Hopkins commented on the differences between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Floodplain and the Ashland Floodplain Corridor. According to FEMA, the floodplain is located at 1872, but the Ashland Floodplain lists it at 1875.5. Mr. Hopkins added that the FEMA Floodplain had been noted for its inaccuracies, while the Ashland Floodplain Corridor is based on actual events. Mr. Hopkins stated the map that the City provides is a rough depiction of where the floodplain lies and includes a disclaimer against using the data in the way the Applicant did. Mr. Hopkins stated it is difficult to determine which level is best, but believes the Applicant has chosen to design the project based on the FEMA Floodplain. Mr. Hopkins commented that the OTAK studies were based on a plan that had since been modified, and also noted the discrepancy between the version of the code listed on the City's website and what is used by the Planning Department. Mr. Hopkins cited his exhibit #48, which he believes best depicts the site survey data. Mr. Hopkins noted one corner of the building lies at 1868, and explained why he does not believe this should be permitted. Mr. Hopkins added he does not believe this application can be salvaged by the imposition of conditions.

Council questioned if the level of a 100-year flood could really be predicted. Mr. Hopkins commented that he would err on the side of caution and would stay away from this area. In terms of where the flood water will flow, Mr. Hopkins questioned what would happen if debris were to clog up the expected overflow route forcing water elsewhere, or if the pillars would collect debris and force water in greater volumes to the north.

Mr. Hopkins noted the importance of the process, and questioned how things might have changed if handled differently from the beginning. He noted the Certificate of Truth was finally signed by the Applicant on May 25, but was signed with an asterisk by his name. At the bottom of the certificate it stated "This certification I have made relates to all of the documents that were originally filed in this matter as amended, modified, and corrected by subsequent filings". Mr. Hopkins stated that even today the information is not correct, and cited page A-30 (Tree Protection Plan) of the council packet. Mr. Hopkins clarified the Tree Protection Plan shows a protective fencing surrounding the trees, but the entire fence lies within the flood way and is not permitted under the code.

Mr. Hopkins stated that no person is well served by this process, and if the Council were to deny this application it would send a powerful message and assure that every subsequent application began with true and accurate information.

Mr. Hopkins noted the linoleum level of the plan is above the floodplain level, however beneath the linoleum is a two-foot slab, pillars, and an additional storage room, which all lie inside the floodplain.

Diane McDermott/208 Patterson/Shared the discussion that took place during Planning Commission meeting regarding the removal of the Alder tree, and the allowed variance which could save the tree. Ms. McDermott questioned if all the decisions had been made based on correct information, and noted that each commission gives weight to the previous commission's decision. She also questioned if the plans would continue to change should the Council approve the application.

Oriana Spratt/212 Patterson St/Requested acknowledgement that she opposes the application.

Marilynn Young/345 Harrison St/Stated the original project had been incorrectly approved through insufficient and incorrect information. Ms. Young voiced concern regarding removal of the tree canopy and potential flood risks, and questioned if there were further inaccuracies that have not yet been uncovered. Ms. Young commented on how she felt strongly about not destroying the Alder tree, regardless of its value to the proposed art display. Ms. Young stated that although this project may be good for Ashland in the future, she does not believe it is needed at this time.

Rivers Brown/1067 Ashland St/Voiced concern over the displacement of the under 30 crowd, and stated this project will eliminate a place that the college residents use. Mr. Brown stated that any change to this space would only add to the new demographic of this community. He commented that the Alder Tree is known as the Tree of Resurrection and voiced opposition to its removal.

Jocelyn Hillman/109 Pine/Requested acknowledgement that she opposes the application.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained the process of an application, and acknowledged that Staff failed to notice that the Certificate of Truth was unsigned. McLaughlin noted the application follows a checklist for completeness, not necessarily correctness. McLaughlin commented on the 120-day rule, and stated it is not unusual to send out notice for review before an application is deemed complete.

McLaughlin clarified the asterisk on the Certificate of Truth was not seen by Staff as a disclaimer of misinformation, but was more for clarification purposes. Staff noted there is always some level of change to each application, most of which arise from concerns raised during the review process. McLaughlin stated he has not seen an attempt on the part of the Applicant to intentionally falsify information.

McLaughlin spoke on the difference between the FEMA Floodplain and the Ashland Floodplain Corridor. He explained the Ashland Floodplain Corridor is more like a zoning line on the map. It is angular and does not follow the contours of the land. Generally speaking, the Ashland Floodplain Corridor is wider than the FEMA Floodplain. McLaughlin clarified that lands within the Ashland Floodplain Corridor do not have a regulatory setback, rather it is an identification of lands that are then subject to the floodplain standards. The corner of the building mentioned by Mr. Hopkins is within the 1872 line, and Staff determined this project is subject to Ashland's Corridor Floodplain Standards. In response to Mr. Hopkins claim, McLaughlin clarified the fences in the floodplain are temporary to protect the trees during construction and are therefore allowable. McLaughlin stated the elevation figures for the floodplains came from a 1978 aerial photo, which was later found to hold inaccuracies. Because of this, Staff required that the Applicant supplement this information with the Flood Analysis by Otak, and encouraged the Applicant to construct at the higher elevation.

McLaughlin explained that the Site Review, Tree Protection, and Site Design Use Standard Ordinances all list the different plans that are required. Staff then goes through these lists to determine if the application is complete.

Mr. Franell clarified that Council could not deny the application because they are not satisfied with Staff procedure, but need to base their decision on whether the application meets the criteria of the code. It was also clarified that this is a de novo hearing and therefore new evidence that might supplement possible deficiencies is allowed.

McLaughlin stated that in his opinion, the Ashland Floodplain Corridor with the FEMA 'bump' is the most accurate. McLaughlin clarified the City does allow for structures to encroach into the Floodplain Corridor, as long as it is high enough and/or flood proofed. McLaughlin explained that the new deck and support structure will be pulled back farther away from the creek than the existing structure. In addition, the new structure will be designed to withstand a flood, while the current deck is not flood-proofed. McLaughlin clarified the 2nd and 3rd floors extend 6 feet over the 1st floor, and are structurally supported by the first story.

Council discussed whether this project violated the Riparian Area standard. Staff stated there is really no natural riparian area where the deck is proposed to go. In addition, there are conflicting parts of the code that need to be considered. Staff believes the Applicant is allowed to build in this area, and compared to the existing situation, the creekside improvements would be far better than they are today.

Council discussed what would happen if they were unable to complete their discussion tonight. Mr. Franell clarified the Public Hearing would need to be extended to the next council meeting, and noted the 120-day rule currently expires on June 18th, 2004. The City can ask the Applicant to grant an extension, but they cannot require them to do so.

Craig Stone/Representing the Applicant/Stated there are good answers to all of the concerns raised tonight. Mr. Stone agreed that there have been some misunderstandings, but assured the Council that the plans before them are now correct. Mr. Stone stated that the Applicant is prepared to grant a reasonable waiver, and also offered to respond in writing to the concerns raised.

Mr. Stone cited his written rebuttal dated May 26th, which covered the floodplain issues, tree preservation, and large-scale development requirements. He spoke regarding the confusion of the two floodplains, stating there are two different lines and two sets of elevations that do not match up. Mr. Stone explained Ashland's regulations allow for the building to be 2 feet below the floodplain, but the Applicant has proposed to construct this building 1½ feet above Ashland's permissible level, and 5 feet above the FEMA level.

Mr. Lloyd Haines/Applicant/Apologized for the inaccuracies and the omissions to the application but stated they have been now been corrected. Mr. Haines commented on the complexity of this project and noted that some of the City regulations are in conflict with one another. Mr. Haines stated the City Staff has shown no favoritism towards him, and noted Staff's significant demands for additional data and surveys. Mr. Haines stated there is overwhelming evidence from competent engineers that the building is safe and that the trees will not be killed.

Council discussed extending the Public Hearing to the June 15th Council Meeting. Mr. Haines agreed to a 35-day extension. Mayor DeBoer clarified they will be continuing the Public Hearing to June 15th, 2004, which will consist of questions of the Applicant and Council discussion.

Mr. Franell clarified the Applicant is permitted to respond in writing, as long as no new information is introduced. If any additional information is provided, than the opponent could request additional time to respond. Mr. Franell added if the Applicant could have their response to Staff by June 8th, then they could accept written comments from the opponents up to June 15th.

Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke regarding the City's position on fire issues. Mr. Navickas read an article, which touched on the concerns of the City of Ashland regarding the Forest Service long-term objectives and the interim plan for the Ashland Watershed. Mr. Navickas explained that historically the City of Ashland has supported under-burning as a means for fuels reduction as opposed to timber removal.


1. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2003-118 Approving a Physical Constraints Review Permit for the Purpose of Constructing a Single Family Dwelling on Land Zoned R-1-7.5, Classified as Hillside Lands and Within a Residential Historic District in Ashland, Oregon. Applicant: Sidney and Karen DeBoer.

Due to direct conflict of interest, Mayor DeBoer excused himself from council chair.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained the Findings before the Council had been prepared by the Applicant's agent and reviewed by City Staff. Staff felt the Findings appropriately reflect the decision of the City Council and recommended adoption.

Council expressed concern with some of the language in the Findings, and questioned if the interpretations could set precedent in future cases. Council also expressed their discomfort with the number of affirmations in the Findings that Council did not discuss.

McLaughlin clarified the Findings purpose is to assert that the application has met the numerous standards. The Findings should be as defensible as possible in supporting the Council's decision to approve this project. McLaughlin explained that when the Council ultimately approve the project, they found that it met all applicable criteria regardless of whether they expressly discussed each criterion. McLaughlin clarified if Staff had prepared the Findings instead of the Applicant, they would have written them in the same manner.

Councilor Jackson/Morrison m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

McLaughlin clarified that the Applicant had granted a time extension for the adoption of the Findings, assuming that the adoption is in support.

Council discussed the possible implications of re-writing the Findings to their satisfaction. Comment was made that only policy decisions and gross errors should be removed from the Findings. Council discussed the possibility of holding a special meeting to discuss this issue. Comment was made that it is the Council's responsibility to ensure these Findings do not produce unexpected consequences. Council discussed working through the entire Findings document, and it was suggested to have the City Attorney review the Findings for policy concerns.

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to refer this to the City Attorney for review and allow Council to submit comments for particular review. DISCUSSION: Councilor Morrison clarified he is not suggesting a special meeting to discuss these Findings, and would like to see this come back to the Council at their next scheduled meeting. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

2.    Quarterly Financial Report - Jan - March, 2004.
Tabled to future Council Meeting due to time constraints.

1.    Summary of Council Goals for FY 2004-2005 and Timeline.
Tabled to future Council Meeting due to time constraints.

1.    Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Creating a Prohibition
       Against Public Nudity."

Rivers Brown/1067 Ashland Street/Stated these incidents are extremely rare and the community is not voicing complaints. Mr. Brown explained that there are indecent ways to expose oneself, but walking down the street nude is not one of them. Mr. Brown believes there should be more input from the public before enacting a law, especially when there doesn't seem to be a real need for it

Trevor Gamble/37 Alida St #6/Mayor DeBoer read Mr. Gamble's statement in opposition to the ordinance and submitted it into the record.

Police Chief Michael Bianca stated this ordinance is in reaction to the 16 incidents that occurred last summer in the downtown area; and explained the Police Department has received many complaints regarding this issue. Mr. Bianca clarified the purpose of this ordinance is not to criminalize nudity, but to give police officers some legal standing to stop the individual and tell them to cover up. Failure to cover up could result in a citation, but would not send the individual to jail. However several citations could move this into a criminal realm. Mr. Bianca stated this is not a huge problem, but it is an issue that should be addressed.

Mayor DeBoer stated he has received a significant number of complaints from people who were offended by nude people running through town with various body parts painted.

Councilor Laws motion to approve Ordinance. Failed due to lack of second.
Issue will be continued at the next Council Meeting.

2. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon, Authorizing the Issuance of Bonds to Finance the Ashland Fiber Network."

Councilor Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson clarified this ordinance does not authorize any additional taxes or changes to the tax rates that were not already adopted as part of the budget. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Morrison, Laws, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

Finance Director Lee Tuneberg clarified he will be bringing a resolution providing the authority to do the sale at the July 20th Council Meeting. Council noted the AFN Bond Levy carries with it the potential for a vote of the people.

Councilor Laws/Morrison m/s to give thanks to Finance Director Lee Tuneberg on the clarity of the resolutions provided to the Council. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Levying Taxes for period July 1, 2004 to and including June 30, 2005, such taxes in the sum of $8,483,000 upon all the Real and Personal Property subject to Assessment and Levy within the Corporate Limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon."

Councilor Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Jackson, Laws, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting the Annual Budget and Making Appropriations."

Councilor Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2004-18. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Laws, Amarotico, Hearn and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution declaring City's election to receive State Revenues."

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2004-17. Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Laws, Hearn, Morrison, Hartzell and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Certifying City provides sufficient municipal services to qualify for State Subventions."

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2004-19. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Morrison, Jackson, Hartzell, Amarotico and Laws, YES. Motion passed.

Mayor DeBoer noted 1) City Attorney interviews start at 8:00 a.m. on Friday June 4th in the Siskiyou Room, 2) Council needs to submit their recommendations for the Charter Review Committee to him by Monday evening, and 3) tomorrow is the first day to file for electing City positions.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor

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