Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

January 18, 2005
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Hearn were present.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the minutes as presented. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell requested that the minutes be amended to include Art Bullock's verbiage, which was emailed to the Council.

Councilor Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to amend the motion to include the language that was provided by an email from Mr. Bullock and to substitute it in the minutes. Councilor Jackson agreed to amend the motion. Voice Vote to amend motion: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Silbiger and Hearn, YES. Councilor Jackson, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Voice Vote to approve the minutes as amended: All AYES. Motion passed.

Request was made for future meeting minutes to include additional detail of the public input. Comment was made that if a citizen would like their language to be verbatim, they should submit it to the Council in writing. Council stated that in general, they were not in favor of including verbatim language in the minutes, but in this case it was the most efficient way to handle the situation.

Mayor and Council recognized the contributions of Joanie McGowan who recently past away.

Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 South/Mentioned that Joanie McGowan was named after Joan of Arc and suggested that a statue be placed in Lithia Park, which would point to the spot where a temporary floodwall would be placed.

Presentation was made on the Selection of Public Art Design for Calle Guanajuato.
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer noted that the project area did not encroach into the public sidewalk and therefore was not subject to the required building materials as defined in the Ashland Municipal Code. Public Arts Commissioner Bruce Bayard stated that he and the artist had met with Staff and clarified that the concrete surrounding the artwork would meet the public sidewalk requirements. Mr. Bayard explained that the selection panel had received five entries and that Susan Springer's design was selected as the winning entry. He also noted that the artist would install the artwork.


1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Laura and Bill Thompson dba Rock N Rollz's Café at 545 Clover Lane.
3. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2004-110 - Saladoff.

Councilor Silbiger requested that item #2 be pulled from the Consent Agenda.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 & #3. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Silbiger stated that Rock N Rollz Café was not in compliance with the City's Sign Ordinance.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated that the OLCC application requires that the business is located in a zone that permits the sale of liquor. City Attorney Mike Franell added that noncompliance with the Sign Ordinance was a local issue and should not be enforced through the Liquor License process.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that the Council's concerns regarding noncompliance with the Sign Ordinance had been duly noted and that Staff would follow up on this issue.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the Liquor License Application with the understanding that Staff will look into the Sign Ordinance violation. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Andrew Ainsworth/928 Beswick Way/Invited the Council to a Tsunami Relief Benefit that will be held Friday, January 21st at 6:00 p.m. in the Historic Ashland Armory.

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Submitted a letter to the Council requesting that they adopt a Code of Ethics for Ashland's elected and appointed officials. The letter also claimed that the Charter Review Committee was neglecting this issue. [COPY OF MR. LANG'S LETTER IS ATTACHED TO THE MINUTES]

Colin Swales/1282 Old Willow Lane/Thanked Councilor Silbiger for bringing the issue of noncompliance with the Sign Ordinance forward. Mr. Swales spoke regarding the Oregon land use law that regulates who is permitted to appear before the Council. Mr. Swales requested that the Council make a formal request to have the City Attorney follow up with the Government Standards and Practices Commission in order to obtain clarification on who was allowed under the State Ethics Rules to appear before Council.

Trisha Mullinnix/1169 Dover Avenue/Stated that she has been a teacher in Ashland for over 20 years and spoke regarding the closing of Lincoln Elementary, which will happen in June. Ms. Mullinnix stated that she would like the City to provide an opportunity that would allow Lincoln Elementary to operate in a different venue.

Mitzi Rabin/783 Jacquelyn Street/International Director for the Earth Kids Foundation/Ms. Rabin stated that she would like to organize a public event at Lincoln Elementary that would be held on April 10th, 2005. The event would include an interfaith religious service, a pancake breakfast and a community baseball game. She requested that the Council participate as players in the baseball game and stated that this event could be held annually to raise funds for the transformation of the Lincoln School into a sustainable resource for the community.


1. Potential Changes to Public Hearing Format for Planning Actions - Order of Testimony.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that the Council had previously suggested that the Public Hearing Format for Planning Actions be altered to allow a more balanced presentation of the issues. The proposed modification to the hearing format would allow the applicant and opponent to each give their 15 minute presentation; the following public testimony would then be limited to five minutes per speaker, and the speakers would alternate between those in favor and those opposed.

Mayor Morrison noted that the Mayor's Script #7 should be corrected to read: "I will now call forward those who have filed testimony request forms. We will begin with a person expressing support then go to a person speaking in opposition. We will then alternate pro and con until all persons wishing to speak have done so. Each speaker will have five minutes. Please come to the podium, state your name, address and make any comments you may have for the council regarding the application."

It was noted that two of Ms. Jarvis' suggestions from the Study Session held on August 5, 2004 were not included in the proposed format presented by Staff: 1) criteria for approval should be posted on the wall for everyone to see, and 2) prepare a pamphlet for the developers and the general public notifying them as to what the councilors can and cannot discuss regarding land use matters.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that Staff had limited their response to Council's request, which was "to look into the possibility of adjusting the public hearing format and bring a proposal forward at a future council meeting". He stated that Staff has posted criteria at Planning Commission Hearings, but because the City's criteria is so extensive, the print was quite small and this procedure tended to be ineffective. He also stated that Staff had not prepared a pamphlet regarding ex parte contact, but if the Council wishes, they could direct Staff to do so.

Council questioned if the proposed modification would have an impact of Council's current policy of only allowing persons to speak who had attend the first hearing and had submitted a testimony request form. Mr. McLaughlin stated that this modification would not affect that policy.

Avram Novick/532 Scenic Drive/Stated that the current structure seemed to be weighted in favor of the opposition and expressed support for the modified format presented by Staff.

Comment was made noting that after Staff presents their report, Council usually has the opportunity to ask questions of Staff and questioned if this needed to be included in the modified format. Comment was also made regarding the wording on the Mayor's Script, which stated, "I will now call forward those who have filed testimony request forms", and it was noted that in the past, the Council had allowed people speak who had not completed a request form.

Councilor Hartzell proposed that #2 of the Public Hearing Format be amended to read "At the beginning of the public hearing, the Planning Department Staff will present its report on the action, and state the applicable standards. At this time councilors will have the opportunity to ask Staff questions, especially those that clarify or relate to key points of the application or appeal."

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve the change in public hearing format regarding order of testimony as amended. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

2. Discussion of Solar Access Ordinance - Standards for C-1 and E-1 Zones when adjacent to Residential Zones.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that the residents of the Williamson Way neighborhood have raised concerns regarding the City's Solar Access Ordinance and the standard for commercially zoned lands that abut residentially zoned lands. He noted that the Council Memo provided a background of the City's Solar Access Ordinance and explains how Standard A and Standard B apply to different properties. Mr. McLaughlin clarified that at this point no applications had been filed for the commercial property that abuts Williamson Way, but it has been approved for a subdivision and the building envelopes have been created. Mr. McLaughlin noted that the City's Site Design Standards require that parking for any future commercial development would need to be located in the rear, therefore any buildings would be located on the street and would provide a setback from the single family homes. He also noted that any future structures would likely be 2 stories high, however the ordinance does allow for buildings up to 40 feet in height.

Comment was made that this item should be broken into two separate issues: 1) the specific concerns regarding the commercial development adjacent to the Williamson Way neighborhood, and 2) the overall adequateness of the Solar Access Ordinance.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that if the Council adopted the greater height restriction (Standard A) for all commercially zoned property that abuts residential districts, it would likely result in some consequences with developing that commercial property.

S.A. Batten/317 Starflower Lane/Letter requesting that the Solar Access Ordinance be amended to protect the Williamson Way neighborhood was read into the record. [COPY OF MR. BATTEN'S LETTER IS ATTACHED TO THE MINUTES]

Bud & Sharon Marler/364 Starflower Lane/Letter requesting that the Solar Access Ordinance be amended to protect the Williamson Way neighborhood was read into the record. [COPY OF MR. AND MRS. MARLER'S LETTER IS ATTACHED TO THE MINUTES]

Arlen Gregorio/474 Williamson Way/Stated that he was surprised to find out that Standard B would apply to the commercial property located next to Williamson Way and stated that everyone, including the developer, had thought that Standard A would apply. Mr. Gregorio stated that Standard B would allow a 16' shadow to be cast upon the residential district. He also stated that the Solar Access Ordinance was difficult to comprehend and felt that this was a fundamental failure in the planning process..

Edward Hungerford/456 Williamson Way/Stated he was aware that his home was adjacent to a commercially zoned property, but was unclear about what this meant. Mr. Hungerford stated the Ordinance was difficult to read, hard to understand, and could have been intentionally ambiguous. He stated that Standard A should apply and noted that most of the homes were located below a bank and below the level of the street just above it. Mr. Hungerford stated that a shadow cast down onto the homes would have a significant effect.

Nola Katopothis/473 Williamson Way/Showed various exhibits displaying the location of the homes in relation to the commercially zoned property and displayed how a 40' building would negatively affect the homes.

Chris Katopothis/473 Williamson Way/Stated that he had three main concerns about a 40' building being built in this location: 1) It would devalue their property, 2) It would affect their quality of life, and 3) It would affect the marketability of the neighborhood. Mr. Katopothis asked the Council to limit the height to two stories in this particular subdivision.

Allyn Stone/474 Williamson Way/Stated that the 10 foot increase in the shadow height would have a huge impact and would completely black out the first story of many of the homes in the area. Stone stated that the Draft Master Plan for the Railroad District should be completed before this project is allowed to proceed and presented pictures showing how the homes would be impacted.

Gwen McMahon/421 No. Mountain Ave./President of the Home Owners Association/Expressed support for an amendment to the Solar Ordinance. Ms. McMahon stated that she was not against commercial development, but felt that the current residences needed to be protected. She requested that that the Council vote for an amendment before any of the commercial lots are sold.

Mera Gagnon/466 Williamson Way/Noted where the windows in her home were located and stated that if the commercial lots were allowed to be developed to the allowable standards there would be no sunlight in her home. Ms. Gagnon stated that this would affect her quality of life in addition to her property values. She mentioned a meeting with Developer Russ Dale, who had told the Williamson Way residents that Standard A would apply and not to worry. She stated that the neighborhood was shocked to find that it was actually Standard B that applied. Ms. Gagnon requested that the Council amend the Solar Access Ordinance in order to protect the single-family homes.

Surya Bolom/470 Williamson Way/Stated that it wasn't right for the City to not be thoughtful of everyone involved. She noted that the ground level of the building was already higher than the homes on the next street down and that a building would have an even greater impact due to the slope of the neighborhood.

Dana Greaves/472 Williamson Way/Stated that the issue of solar panel and solar roof access was not the only concern for the residents of this neighborhood, but that it was also an issue of quality of life, living in darkness and higher energy bills. Mr. Greaves stated that an amendment to the ordinance would take some time and expressed concern about a sale on one or more of the properties before an amendment could be made.

Nanci & Doug Kent/460 Williamson Way/Stated that their backyard would be completely engulfed in a shadow if a 40' building was constructed. Mr. Kent noted the location of the commercial building lot to his home and said that people would be able to look directly into his bedroom.

Russ Dale/585 Allison Street/Apologized for a failure to communicate with the Williamson Way residents and stated that he understood the their concerns and was aware of the extreme elevation change. Mr. Dale stated that the buildings on the commercial lot would be designed in a stair step fashion so that they would be lowest in the back of the lot (closest to the residential homes) and higher in the front (closer to the street). Mr. Dale explained why a three story building would not be feasible in this location and stated that he would be willing to conform to Standard A to address the neighborhoods concerns. He stated that they could place a deed restriction on the property and urged the Council not to apply a Citywide change to the Solar Ordinance.

Mr. Dale clarified for Council that he intended to develop all of the lots himself. He also restated that he was willing to commit to a reasonable compromise, even if that meant placing a deed restriction or adding Conditions for Approval. Mr. McLaughlin clarified that a Deed Restriction was the fastest way to implement Standard A and would address all of the neighbors concerns. City Attorney Mike Franell agreed with Mr. McLaughlin and noted that the City would need to amend the Code before it would have the authority to make it a Condition of Approval.

Suggestion was made that the City should take advantage of Mr. Dale's offer to place a Deed Restriction on the property. Comment was made that the immediacy regarding this issue had been resolved and that the City could revisit this issue as it applied Citywide in due course.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s accept the developers offer to establish Deed Restrictions on the commercial properties to be subject to standard A of the Solar Ordinance. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

3. Request to Jackson County to Enter into An Agreement to Allow the City of Ashland to Manage Measure 37 Claims within the Ashland Urban Growth Boundary.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) contained properties that could eventually be used to accommodate Ashland's future growth. He explained that Staff was recommending that the City enter into an agreement with Jackson County in order to have a stronger hand in managing these properties so that the City would not lose future opportunities for urbanization, affordable housing, and protection of environmental resources.

Mayor Morrison stated that he had met with County Commissioners and they indicated that they were open to discussing this issue.

Mr. McLaughlin noted that some of the County residents had shown resistance to the idea of the City managing growth within the UGB.

Suggestion was made that the City should also have a hand in the management of properties within the Area of Influence and request was made that Jackson County notify the City on any Measure 37 claims in these two areas.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to initiate discussions with the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to enter into an agreement allowing the City of Ashland to manage Measure 37 claims within Ashland's Urban Growth Boundary. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Requiring Waiver of 2004 Statewide Measure 37 Claims for Property Owners desiring to Annex their Properties to the City of Ashland."
City Attorney Mike Franell explained that when property is annexed into the City, the County zoning is changed to City zoning. In most instances, the City zones allow more intense development than the County zones, so Measure 37 claims would not be an issue. However, if there were a long-term owner of property within the Urban Growth Boundary, and that property was then annexed, the City zoning could restrict the previous uses and spawn Measure 37 claims. In exchange for a allowing properties to be annexed to the City, the City would require a waiver of any Measure 37 claims that could have accrued prior to the time of annexation. Mr. Franell noted that the owner would still have the opportunity to file a claim if the City changed the restrictions at any point after the property was annexed. He also noted that there was no requirement that the City must allow properties to be annexed and clarified that this decision was up to the Council. Staff is recommending that the Council adopt the proposed Resolution.

Letter submitted by Don Greene opposing the proposed Resolution was read into the record. [COPY OF MR. GREENE'S LETTER IS ATTACHED TO THE MINUTES]

In response to Mr. Greene's statement, Mr. Franell clarified that this issue does not require a public hearing. He also clarified that the waiver would be legally binding and was the best method for protecting the City.

Council expressed their support for the proposed resolution.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to approve Resolution #2005-05. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger, Hardesty, Amarotico and Hearn, YES. Motion Passed.

2. Second Reading by title only of "An Ordinance withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (Ely Schless and Krista Johnson Annexation, 3151 East Main Street)."

Councilor Jackson/Hearn m/s to approve Ordinance #2916. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hearn, Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Amarotico and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland, Oregon, adopting an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Affirmative Action Program for the City of Ashland and Repealing Resolution No. 1993-17."
Human Resource Director Tina Gray explained that Staff has proposed a revision to the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Plan. Ms. Gray explained that the City already has protections built into its policy, but this resolution would go further and give Staff the ability to strategize and recruit for positions that may be under utilized in the organization.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2005-06. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Jackson, Hartzell, Silbiger, Hearn and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

Council discussed Philip Lang's letter regarding the absence of a Code of Ethics in the City Charter revision process. Mr. Franell encouraged Mr. Lang to participate in the upcoming Charter Review Forum and present his suggestions there. Mr. Franell stated that the Council could provide a recommendation regarding this issue to the Charter Review Committee, but the Council had previously agreed that they did not want to influence the Committee. If the Charter Review Committee did not end up including this provision in their proposed Charter, the Council could then take action and insert it before it was sent out to ballot.

Suggestions was made that the Council could address the Code of Ethics by making an amendment to the Ashland Municipal Code. City Administrator Gino Grimaldi agreed that it might be more appropriate to add it to the Code than to include it in the City Charter. It was clarified that adding a Code of Ethics to the Municipal Code would involve passing an ordinance.

Council discussed Colin Swales' request to obtain clarification from the Government Standards and Practices Board regarding project representatives and how they are representing those project to the Council and the Planning Commission. Mr. Franell stated that he could request that the GSPB provide clarification in this area, however it would be 4-8 weeks before the City would receive a response from the Board.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s that Staff move forward on drafting an ordinance on the Code of Ethics. DISCUSSION: It was clarified that this motion did not include a timeline for completion. Comment was made that the City should wait until they receive a response from the Government Standards and Practices Board before drafting such an ordinance. Suggestion was made that the Council should also work on ensuring that everyone was aware of the policy. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Hartzell, Silbiger and Hearn, YES. Councilor Amarotico and Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Request was made that Staff add the Solar Ordinance to their list of issues that need to be addressed. Additional request was made for the Adoption of Findings to not be placed under the Consent Agenda.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:04 p.m.

April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

•  Letters Submitted at Council Meeting  [PDF FORMAT]

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