Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

December 21, 2004
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 December 7, 2004, Special Meeting of November 30, 2004, and Executive Meeting of November 30, 2004 were approved as presented.

Mayor made presentation of a plaque to Detective Steve Brown upon his retirement, in recognition for his service to the community.

The community in appreciation of their service presented presentations and gifts to both Mayor Alan DeBoer, and Councilor Laws. Plaques were presented to Councilor Don Laws and to Mayor Alan DeBoer in recognition of service to the City.

Proclamation of January 8, 2005 as "Christmas Tree Recycle Day in Ashland" was read out loud.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Everett Glover dba La Familia & Cantina El Pato (119 A Street).
3. Liquor License Application from Heakyoung Kwan dba Northwest Pizza & Pasta Co. (1585 Siskiyou Blvd.)

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

1. Public Hearing and First reading of "An Ordinance Amending the Tree Preservation and Protection Chapter of the Ashland Municipal Code (Chapter 18.61) by Adding Provisions to Further Protect Heritage Trees."

Proposal to modify Chapter 18.61 of the Ashland Use Ordinance to make removal of a Heritage Tree from the list immediate upon owner request, and to include removal of a heritage tree as an activity that requires a Tree Removal Permit was presented by Community Development Planner Maria Harris.

Council discussed language changes in section E…"removed from a currently listed Heritage Tree…" "shall" versus "may."

It was suggested that the Tree Commission report to the council annually on the Heritage Tree list. There is no current list at this time, but the Tree Commission has identified trees that could be placed on the list.

Tree Commissioner Bryan Holley presented history in regards to the proposed Heritage Tree list and how property owners felt that they should not be subject to the council when deciding whether a tree is on the list or not. Property owners should be able to manage and protect their trees easily. He noted that there are many trees both on city property and school district property.

Public Hearing Open: 7:47 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:47 p.m.

It was noted that this amendment would allow notice to the Tree Commission should a property owner request that a tree be removed from the Heritage Tree list.

Councilor Morrison/ Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance with amendment to Section E to add "currently listed" and move to second reading. DISCUSSION: Amarotico requested further clarification on "shall" versus "may." City Attorney Mike Franell advised council that the current language does work given the intent of the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Laws, Hearn, Amarotico and Jackson. All AYES. Motion passed.

Melanie Mindlin/1338 Seena Lane/
Spoke regarding a proposed co-housing project on Fordyce Street. She is the applicant for a land use application, which was presented to the Planning Commission. She shared her perspective of the action taken the Planning Commission when her application was denied. She voiced her disappointment considering the amount of work and time that had been committed to this project. She did not feel that her project was given proper consideration.

Ruby Henne/126 Beth/Spoke regarding the denial of co-housing project by the Planning Commission and voiced her disappointment of the process. Challenged the council to follow through with affordable housing.

Sue Crader/500 Broken Bow, Jacksonville/Shared her difficulty with finding affordable housing in Ashland. She voiced her disappointment with the Planning Commission when they denied the project that would have provided affordable housing.

Brent Thompson/582 Allison/Spoke regarding System Development Charges and the opportunity to lobby at the State level to get a bill out that would give power back to the community in regards to SDC's. He requested that the council put this on their list of things to do.

Dana Greaves/472 Williamson Way/Submitted statement to the council in regards to a pending E-1 development in their neighborhood. He requested that the council amend the city's solar ordinance to correct what he believes is a serious flaw, in that the ordinance does not protect their homes from being put in the dark by commercial buildings up to 40 feet tall. He also requested that there be some consideration for providing appealing aesthetics with further development.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to place discussion regarding solar ordinance amendment to council agenda under New Business. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


1. Sign Code - Request for Ordinance Amendment Regarding the Maximum Number of Building Frontages.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin presented staff report on the request by Brent Thompson for a ordinance amendment regarding the number of frontages a building can have for signage. The property used as an example is Mr. Thompson's building at Oak and A Street, which was curretnly remodeled for a variety of business uses. He explained that there have been a few instances in our community where this issue has arisen in the past, but that the current ordinance is very restrictive and does not leave a process to allow for unusual circumstances.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that an amendment should include requirements regarding the "quality" of the business frontage. Additional frontages should have improved streets and sidewalks along the frontage, a public entrance that is "attactive and functional" with a strong sense of entry, and that the signage be limited to 80% of the area allowed by ordinance. He reported that staff believes that these types of additional requirements limit the overall amount of signage, ensures appropriate streetscape and pedestrian environment, and makes the entrance to the building attractive and inviting.

Council discussed how this would affect other buildings in the community and the legal ramifications if the ordinance were amended. It was suggested that this be referred to the Planning Commission for further discussion and research. Councilor Laws gave brief history on the sign code, the importance of code enforecement for signage and how there have been few changes to the ordinance over the years. He urged caution when considering any changes to the sign code.

Brent Thompson/582 Allison/He explained that he was unaware of any other solution for signage on his property other than through an amendment to the sign code. He submitted a statement that outlined his position and his suggested changes to the ordinance.

Discussion regarding when a planning action is required and the remodeling of the back of a building. It was clarified that development patterns are set and an amendment to the ordinance would not necessarily affect this. Staff stated that this proposal is only a concept. Comment was made that although this may be an amendment that should be considered, it should first be reviewed by the Planning Commission.

Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to initiate the process of exploring an ordinance amendment by the Planning Committion to the Sign Code, Chapter 18.96 of the land use ordinance, regarding the number of allowable building frontages. DISCUSSION: Clarification on the intent of the motion was made. Voice vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Additional guidance for staff was requested on how to handle prioritization. It was agreed that this needed to be done on a different level and another time.

2. Discussion regarding requested amendment to solar ordinance.
Council agreed that this topic should be placed on a future council agenda to discuss the problems associated with the solar ordinance in regards to this development.

1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Establishing Cable Television and Internet Rates for the Ashland Fiber Network, Readopting All Other Rates without Change and Repealing Resolution No. 2004-07."

Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderschied presented staff report which included an update on Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) operations. He noted corrections to the staff report and the resolution. On page 2 of the staff report Business (1-IP address) should be $72.80 as the old rate and $76.30 as the new rate. On the rate schedule attached to the resolution under Tier Rates per month, increment should be $8.29 and under Digital Plus (Tier IV), base fee should be $11.51.

The following increases are for CATV rates:

Tier 1 $9.04
Tier 2 $14.40
Tier 3 $34.83
Tier 4 $46.95

It was noted that AFN continues to offer a competive rate as compared to Charter. Mr. Wanderschied stated that AFN is incurring increased cost of operating the system, which included additional staff, higher costs associated with employee benefits, and higher CATV programming costs.

The new rates for Cable Modem Fees are as follows:

Residential (w/ISP) $26.45
Residential (No ISP) $32.90
Residential Intermediate $51.03
Business (1-IP Address) $76.30

He noted that High Density will be available on Channel 8 free of charge to those with Tier 1 service.

Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2004-49. Roll Call vote: Laws, Hearn, Jackson, Hartzell, Amarotico and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.

DeBoer noted the value of AFN and how the city has financed this product on their own.


Meeting was adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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