Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Special Meeting

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

November 30, 2004
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

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

1.  Billings Ranch and Greenway Discussion.
City Attorney Mike Franell explained that Jackson County had interpreted their ordinance and determined that: 1) the Greenway District zone, while provided for in the County Code, was never implemented and therefore was not applicable, 2) the Area of Special Concern 82-2 did not apply to the parcel adjacent to the Billings property, and 3) Section 280.110.3.D of the County Code was not amended after the 1988 Greenway Plan was adopted and the provision covering the Area of Special Concern 82-2 became part of the County's Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Franell further clarified that the Area of Special Concern 82-2 would be subject to a Conditional Use Permit, and there would be specific code criteria that would need to be applied to the land use decision.

Mr. Franell clarified that the County's decision would not affect property zoned within the City Limits, but could potentially affect property inside the Urban Growth Boundary because the City's zoning laws do not apply.

Council suggested several issues they would like to further discuss regarding this issue, including:
•  The impacts on the entire Greenway,
•  Whether the Council and the community would like the natural area to stay as it is or if it should be allowed for a recreational use,
•  Whether the Greenway should be protected for wildlife habitat,
•  The City's role and responsibility in this matter, and
•  The overall impacts on Ashland.

Donald Morris/1644 Ross Lane/Questioned if a championship golf course could be built without obtaining the Greenway land and suggested that the Council find out what was actually required for this type of course.

JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Spoke regarding the importance of developing the Greenway and appealed to the Council to represent their constituents and to think of the larger community. Ms. Eggers stated that it was very important to maintain the water quality and the natural values of the Greenway and felt that the County should take the effort to correct their oversight.

Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Spoke regarding the economic values of the ecosystem and submitted a document to the Council titled "Ecosystem Economics". Mr. Kay suggested that the City look at how potential projects would enhance the values provided by the ecosystem when evaluating proposals. He also asked that the Billings Developer Mike Peru demonstrate how his proposal would enhance the economic as well as the social and environmental conditions of the site in question.

Mike Peru/781 Eastridge Dr, Medford/Clarified that the proposed golf course would lie both on the Billings property and on County property. He also stated that the "natural area" that was mentioned was not really a natural area but rather an open field that had been previously farmed and was covered with hemlock, blackberries and thistles. Mr. Peru explained that the proposed golf course would meet all of the required criteria and welcomed the City's participation.

Mr. Peru spoke regarding their need to obtain use of the Greenway land in order to construct a championship golf course. He explained that the location of Hole 4 leads into a dead-end without the use of the Greenway land. They would also need this land in order to reach Hole 5. If they could not obtain access to the Greenway land they would lose two holes and it would not be a playable course. Mr. Peru noted that the development would likely fail if they were unable to obtain the championship course classification.

Mr. Peru clarified that the difference between a championship course and a regular or municipal course include: 1) a championship course is rated by golf industry experts on how the course plays and would be given a 1, 2, or 3 rating, and 2) the course's ability to attract events. Mr. Peru explained that if the course was not rated, than it would be difficult to generate sufficient revenue. Mr. Peru also noted that the Billings Development had hired a Golf Course Architect, who knew what was required to produce a rated course. He added that the Billings goal was to obtain the highest level of certification of both the industry standard and the environmental standard.

Debbie Miller/Normal Avenue/Spoke against the Billings use of the Greenway land and expressed concern that other sections of the Greenway could go to other uses as well. Ms. Miller noted all of the work that had gone into establishing the Greenway and urged the Council to pursue all options to retain its current use. Ms. Miller asked the Council to consider two possibilities: 1) Because Federal funds were used in the creation of the Greenway, would those funds need to be paid back because this area would now be used for something that was not natural, and 2) Could the City challenge the County Commissioner's decision to use the 1982 data rather than the 1988 data?

It was noted that a portion of the Greenway was built on Billings' property through a 40-year lease and suggestion was made that the City look into a more permanent solution for the Greenway. Council expressed concern regarding the implications of Measure 37 as it pertained to this property. Mayor DeBoer urged the Council to wait until an application had been filed before taking formal action. Council agreed that it was too early in the process to file an appeal and it would be more appropriate to leave their options open and continue to gather information.

1.  First and Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance of the City of Ashland, Oregon, Regarding Claims for Just Compensation Arising out of the Enactment of Ballot Measure 37, Making Certain Provisions Therefore, and Declaring an Emergency."
City Attorney Mike Franell gave a brief background on the recent passing of Measure 37. He explained that this Measure gave property owners the opportunity to file a claim against the local government if they have either enacted new legislation or enforced existing legislation that has reduced the owner's property value. Mr. Franell further explained that while the ballot measure provided the opportunity to the property owners, it did not provide direction to local governments on how to handle the process, and therefore it was necessary for the City adopt an Ordinance that establishes the framework for handling potential claims. Mr. Franell noted that the proposed Ordinance was fairly restrictive in its language, however they had built in some safeguards that would prevent Staff from having their hands tied. He also explained that the Ordinance would likely need to be amended in the future and should be viewed as a "work in progress".

Mr. Franell and the Council worked through the proposed Ordinance and the following sections were further discussed and/or amended:

18.110.010.C - Section was amended to define the claimant as "the current property owner…"

18.110.010.E - Mr. Franell clarified that the definition of "Public Nuisance" contained in the ordinance was the same definition that the Courts had crafted. He also noted that this section had been amended to read "…and the owner's conduct for use of the land…".

18.110.010.H - Mr. Franell clarified that the term "contested" was legal terminology that referred to the Administrative Procedures Act and that this term was specifically used because it is recognized by the Courts.

18.110.010.L - Mr. Franell clarified that a lack of public services to real property could be taken into consideration in the appraisal and value of a property. He also noted that he had broken up the run-on sentence in this section to make it clearer.

18.110.015.A - Section was amended to contain the wording "…as defined in ALUO 18.110.015…".

18.110.015.B - Section was amended to read "…at the time the current owner submits an application…"

18.110.020.A - Section was amended to read "…when determining whether to compensate for,…".

18.110.020.A.6 - Mr. Franell clarified that the burden of proof lies on the property owner, and clarified that the Ordinance asked that the claimant provide a copy of the regulation that provided the uses that were previously available, which would basically be the "exhaustive list" as suggested by Council.

18.110.020.A.8 - Section was amended to read "…that impose restrictions or other encumbrances on the use of the property."

18.110.025.B - Mr. Franell clarified that the term "written comments" would be equivalent to Public Hearing comments.

18.110.030.C - Section was amended to read "…may deny a claim for just compensation based upon one or more of the following findings."

18.110.030.C.8 - Section was amended to read "…public health or safety."

18.110.030.C.9 - Mr. Franell noted that the term "goal" was retained in this section because it referred to State-wide goals, and explained that he did not believe this section would prevent the City from handling claims within an Area of Mutual Concern.

18.110.030.C.12 - Mr. Franell clarified that Measure 37 states that local governments shall pay out of funds specially designated for the payment of Measure 37 claims. If the local government does not pay the claimant within 2 years, then all of the regulations for the claimants' property would be waived.

18.110.030.D - Mr. Franell clarified that he did not include language that requires unpaid filing fees to result in a lien placed against the claimant's property, and explained that omitting this allows the City the opportunity to pursue collection in a number of various ways.

18.110.035.B - Mr. Franell clarified that Council had the option to review every claim submitted, but he did not include language that requires the Council to make a determination on every claim. Council discussed whether the majority of the Council must agree to request a public hearing or if a sole Councilor could call for the hearing. Council recommended that the ordinance be amended to reflect that it would take a minimum of two Councilors to request a public hearing.

18.110.035.C - Section was amended to read " …other demands for which a summary denial has been issued…" and "…whose boundaries include the current owner's real property, and to those requesting notice".

18.110.035.D.2 - Mr. Franell clarified that the City should pay claims out of a fund set up to pay for Measure 37 claims, however if the City did not have a fund established, they could allocate funds from a contingency fund.

18.110.035.D.6 - Concern was expressed regarding the term "eminent domain". Mr. Franell stated that he believed this language was appropriate, however noted that the Council would have the opportunity to amend the Ordinance at a later date.

18.110.035.G - Section was amended to read "…current owner." Mr. Franell also clarified that the City would send notice of a decision to each person with an ownership interest.

18.110.035.H - Section was amended to read "…grounds for the City to recover any compensation…"

18.110.040.A - clarified that "Successors in interest to the current owner" means that if a property owner receives a waiver to a regulation, but no construction is completed, the new owner would not possess the same rights to the resolved claim waiver.

18.110.040.B - Section was amended to read "A copy of any City resolution compensating for…"

18.110.040.C - New section was added to the ordinance, which reads "A copy of all claims submitted and the final decision and action taken in response to it will be provided by the City Administrator at least annually to the State of Oregon-designated agency tracking cases related to Measure 37."

Mary-Kay Michelsen/2810 Diane Street/Stated that public participation was extremely important and urged the Council to increase the noticing distance from 200 ft. to 300 ft. Ms. Michelsen questioned 18.110.020.A.9, which states that the appraisal would not necessarily have to come from a licensed appraiser. She also asked why the Ordinance did not include "neighborhood groups and community organizations" under 18.110.025. Regarding 18.110.035.C, Ms. Michelsen stated that public notice was essential in all stages of Measure 37 compensation claims.

Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Questioned how the City could take action with Measure 37 so it beneficially influenced the landscape of the valley in the future. Mr. Kay suggested that each claimant be required to post some sort of demonstration of financial responsibility to show that their actions would not damage others values. He also spoke regarding the various ways to define value and stated that there did not have be a City facility on a piece of land for it to enact a public purpose.

Council clarified for Ms. Michelsen that requiring that all appraisals be from a licensed appraiser would hinder the City's ability to take action and could result in additional law suits. Regarding her suggestion to expand the notice area to 300 ft., Council requested that the Ordinance be amended under 18.110.025.A to read " …and to all property located within three hundred feet of the current owner's real property…".

Suggestion was made for the City to obtain an agreement with any person who might want to annex their property in the future, in which they would agree to not submit Measure 37 claims for the annexed portion of land. Mr. Franell stated that this would an an appropriate action to take, and encouraged Council to consider this for the future.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to direct Staff to bring back a proposal to change the Annexation Ordinance in regards to Measure 37. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve First Reading by title only of Ordinance #2713, as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Second Reading by title only of Ordinance #2713, as amended. Roll Call vote: Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor

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