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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Ashland Tree Commission
Regular Meeting
July 8, 2004

I. 0 Call to Order: Chair Ted Loftus called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. on July 8, 2004 at the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building at 51 Winburn Way.

000 Commissioners Present: Ted Loftus, Chair
Bryan Holley
Bryan Nelson
Mary Pritchard
Laurie Sager
January Jennings
Commissioners Absent: Fred Stockwell
Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell
Youth Liaison: None
Staff Present: Maria Harris, Associate Planner
Donn Todt, Parks Department

II. Approval of Minutes: Holley/Sager m/s to approve the minutes of June 3, 2004 as presented. Voice vote: All AYES, Motion passed.
III. Welcome Guests & Public Forum:
Margaret Dole introduced herself. She said she has lived here for a year and was attending because she is curious about what the Tree Commission does.
IV. Public Hearings:
A. 00 PLANNING ACTION 2004-075 is a request for Site Review approval for Phase I (Buildings A & B, and a group of mini storage buildings)of a mixed-use development located upon an approximately six acre parcel at 550 Mistletoe Road. The proposal also requests a Variance from the minimum required number of bicycle parking spaces and the associated design standards for the mini storage portion of the project. Comprehensive Plan Designation: Comprehensive Plan Designation: Industrial; Zoning: M-1; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 14 A; Tax Lot: 2301.
APPLICANT: Burt & Veronica Brim

A staff report was given and members of the Tree Commission asked several questions regarding the possibility of leaving the berm and trees in space along the frontage of future building sites, storm drainage and the use of a bioswale, and the absence of an irrigation plan. JoAnne Krippaehne, Madronna Architecture, 520 Terrace Street, the project architect of record, represented the applicant. She described the project to the Tree Commission including that there are 13 trees six inches diameter at breast height (dbh) located on a berm along the front of the six acre site that are proposed for removal. There was a discussion with Krippaehne regarding the timing of the development of the vacant building areas at the north and south end of the parcel adjacent to the street and the timing of the removal of the berm and associated trees. There was a clarification that 26 trees are being installed as street trees, and that 23 of the trees are required as street trees and parking area trees. There was a discussion of the row of Leland Cypress planted along the north side of the building adjacent to the railroad right-of-way, the appropriate plantings and spacing, and of fire hazard issues. There was a discussion of the lawn area shown as groundcover in the planting strip in the Mistletoe right-of-way.

There was no other testimony received for or against the proposal. Loftus closed the public hearing and the Tree Commission further discussed the proposal. The Tree Commission recommended approval of the project with the following specific recommendations.

1. Street Trees - Pink Plum, Prunus Bureanna - This variety is not on the approved street tree list. Chose large stature species from "7-foot Parkrow" or "8-foot Parkrow" from the Recommended Street Tree Guide.

2. Soil for Parkrow - Use topsoil at least two feet in depth. Do not use fill from site because past use has interspersed concrete in the soil, and the concrete increases the ph of soil making it unsuitable for trees.

3. Lawn in Parkrow - Consider drought tolerant ground cover instead of lawn. Plant material should not be planted up to base of tree.

4. Recommend Incense Cedar, Bakers Cypress or Arizona Cypress instead of Leland Cypress in planter adjacent to railroad row. Do not plant as a hedge row, incorporate and intersperse a variety of plant material.

5. Emerald Green Arborvitae, Thuja Smarago along east side of parking area behind building A & B needs a lot of water, may not do well in this setting.

The recommendation was read back to the Tree Commission by Staff, and all members acknowledged that they were in agreement with the items as presented.

V. Action Items

A. 00 Review Draft Heritage Tree Materials and Discuss Next Step in Moving Forward Through Process
There was a discussion of the nomination form and ordinance revisions made by Paul Nolte, City Attorney based on the comments at the June 2004 Tree Commission meeting. Suggested changes include: 1) use Variety instead of Kind under inspection report, and 2) specifying a time frame for the filing of a quitclaim to remove a tree from the Heritage Tree List.

There was a discussion of whether the Heritage Tree ordinance revisions should move forward alone or if it should be combined with more extensive revisions of Chapter 18.61 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO). There was agreement among the Commission that the Heritage Tree revisions should be moved forward separately.

Sager/Pritchard m/s to recommend moving the Heritage Tree ordinance revisions and nomination form forward All AYES, Motion passed.

B. Determine Commissioner Interest Level in Design Professional Ordinance Amendment
Draft ordinance revisions to 18.72.020, 18.72.060 and 18.72.110 (attached) requiring a design professional to prepare and inspect landscape and irrigation plans were passed out at the meeting. There was a discussion of the history of the Tree Commission requesting the revisions being made to the ALUO. There was a discussion of whether the irrigation system should be required to be inspected by the design professional. There was discussion of requiring an inspection by the design professional of tree protection, site preparation and grading, plant materials and irrigation coverage. The Commission decided the group needed time to review the materials and agreed it should be reviewed at the September 2004 meeting.
C. Recommendations for Training for Landscape Plan Review
There was a discussion of a concern among Commission members that the Planning Staff does not having the appropriate training to review landscape plans and suggestions for training including working with two to three Commission members, contacting individual members with questions and reviewing ISA brochures. Staff explained that the Historic Commission, which also serves in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission, reviews all levels of Planning Actions at their monthly meetings including Type I Planning Actions and suggested the Tree Commission consider this approach or a similar approach. There was a discussion of the difference between a Type I and Type II Planning Action. The Commission decided that two to three members would review Type I Planning Actions starting in October and a sign - up sheet would be circulated at the September 2004 meeting. There discussion of having the Type I review during the lunch hour on the same week of the Tree Commission meeting, and that members would be responsible for finding a substitute.
D. Continued Review of Chapter 18.61 Tree Preservation and Protection
The item was deferred until the September 2004 meeting.

There was a discussion of the upcoming Street Improvement Projects. The item was mistakenly left off of the agenda. The Commission reviewed the draft project plans and the project timeline which is to go out to bid at the end of July 2004. The was a discussion of the draft project plans including the improvement of the east side of Tolman Creek Road from Albertsons to East Main Street, the improvement of the north side of Hersey from Ann to North Mountain Avenue, the addition of a right hand turn lane on the east side of Walker Avenue and the repavement of East Main from Eighth Street to North Mountain Avenue. The issues relating to trees that were discussed by project were: 1) Tolman Creek Road - there are some Oaks and Arizona Cypress (just a little north of Albertsons) that will be impacted. Also trees in the street right-of-way and on private property that appear to be in the impact area. It was noted that there was a ditch that was run parallel to Tolman Creek Road (maybe an electric line trench) in this area, and that up to the ditch line the trees in this area had been root pruned. This results in that digging up to this point would not harm the trees. ; 2) Hersey Street - Would like to see Red Oaks offered to the residents to plant behind the sidewalk .; 3) Walker Avenue - Trees on east side of road behind sidewalk will be removed. It was noted that these trees could be tree spaded and replanted if done in the right time of year being late October and after.; 4) East Main Street - no concerns as the project is limited to street repaving in existing curb-to-curb line. The Commission members agreed to conduct site visits to the project individually and report back to Nelson. Nelson would then forward a recommendation to Staff.

VI. Items from Commissioners

A. 00 Liaison Reports - 1) Cate Hartzell, City Council, 2) January Jennings, Forest Lands, 3) Donn Todt, Parks

Jennings reported that Forest Lands Commission is broken up in groups and each group is working on their own plan. She recommended reading article in the latest City Source.

Todt said Ailanthus located by entrance to Lithia Park on the plaza was probably first tree planted in the plaza. He said the tree was damaged by a strong windstorm around 1978 and lost a large limb as a result. Todt said he knew would be problematic because the large limb was at a point where all of limbs joined. Since that time, the Parks Department has been regularly cabling. He reported that in June, two additional large limbs broke off. He encouraged and offered to assist Commission members if anyone was interested in looking at the tree. Todt said the tree is probably borderline on being hazardous even though 40% of canopy has been removed and additional cable has been added. He said he hoped it would not happen, but it may be a candidate for tree removal. Todt said the tree was planted in the late 1870's, so it is long lived for an Ailanthus. There was a discussion of root injections prolonging life. Todt said he didn't think it would as the nutrient levels are good. There was a discussion of using the tree removal as a public education opportunity if the tree needs to come out. One idea discussed was leaving the stump in the ground with a sign including an explanation. Todt announced that the Parks Department will do a walk through of Lithia Park and invited all commission members to attend.

B. New Items

There was a reminder that the Tree of Year process needs to get started, and it was agreed that the timeline would be reviewed at the August 2004 meeting.

VII. Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9: 29p.m.

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