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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ashland Tree Commission
Regular Meeting
March 3, 2005

I. Call to Order: Chair January Jennings called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on March 3, 2005 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building at 51 Winburn Way.

Commissioners Present: January Jennings
Bryan Holley
Mary Pritchard
Tracy Cohen
Ted Loftus
Laurie Sager (absent)
Fred Stockwell (absent)
Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell
Staff Present: Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner
John McLaughlin, Planning Director
Carolyn Schwendener, Clerk
Donn Todt, Parks Department (absent)
II. Approval of Minutes: The following corrections were noted for the March 3, 2005 minutes. Bryan Nelson was not present at the February 3, 2005 meeting. Page 3 and 4 of 7 change loose to lose. Page 5, last paragraph, change a to are. Page 6 of 7, third paragraph, change spelling of Zelcovia to Zelkova. Jennings / Holley m/s to approve the minutes of February 3, 2005 with corrections. Voice vote: All AYES, Motion passed. The minutes of February 3, 2005 were approved as corrected.
III. Welcome Guests & Public Forum:
There were no guests in attendance for tonight's meeting.

Before beginning the public hearings Amy announced that she would now be limiting her staff reports to solely the landscaping and tree issues. Commissioner Pritchard requested that she still inform the commission of any other issues that the staff might have with other problems in the plan. Amy agreed to do so.

IV. Public Hearings:
A.     PLANNING ACTION 2005-008 is a request Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change from Jackson County zoning RR-5 (Rural Residential) to City of Ashland zoning E-1 (Employment) for an approximately 1.6-acre parcel located at 593 Crowson Road. The portion of the parcel adjacent to Crowson Road is proposed in the Residential Overlay (R-Overlay) which allows a residential component and in the Detail Site Review Zone which requires additional building design features. The application includes a request for Site Review approval for a business complex including offices, light industrial space and three residential units. A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove six trees on the site. Comprehensive Plan Designation: Employment (proposed), Rural Residential (current); Zoning: E-1 (proposed), RR-5 (current); Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 14 D; Tax Lot: 500.
APPLICANT: Crowson Business Center, LLC

Staff report. Calculations for the percentage of the parking area have been submitted. Approximately ten percent of the parking area is landscaped which exceeds the required minimum of seven percent. In addition, trees have been added to the landscaped islands in the parking area. Finally, the redesign of the Crowson road results in a wider landscaped area between the sidewalk and Building A. The Tree Commission raised concerns regarding the removal of the large stature Siberian Elm located near the northwest corner of the existing home. Additionally, the Tree Commission requested information on a 12-inch diameter at breast height tree located near the front of the existing house as it was not located on the Tree Removal Plan. A report from the arborist is included in the new submittals. The arborist recommendation is to remove both trees. The Siberian Elm is identified as a hazard tree because the species is prone to breakage and this particular tree is most likely weak because there are three trunks originating from the same point near the ground. There are seven conditions pertaining to trees.

Applicant Testimony: Tom Giordano brought in additional photos of the trees in question for the commission to review. Because of other reasons involved in the project they will be adjusting the site plan. They will be reconfiguring the intersection which will give them a much greater landscaping area.

Public Testimony: None present

1)    Tree Commission recommends planting of Thundercloud Plum instead of Blireana Plum.

Read the recommendation back to commission. All in agreement with recommendation.

B.     PLANNING ACTION 200 5-00039 is a request for a Conditional Use Permit to construct a new residential unit, 1,172 square feet in size, at the rear of the parcel located at 150 N. Pioneer St. with a proposed total floor area in excess of the Maximum Permitted Floor Area (MPFA) allowed by ordinance. The Maximum Permitted Floor Area for the parcel is 2,643 square feet. The proposed new unit combined with the existing residence results in a total of 3,302 square feet, which is 25% greater than allowed by ordinance. Site Review approval is requested for the construction of the second unit. A Variance to the required driveway width is requested for the existing mutual driveway serving the subject parcel and 162 N. Pioneer Street. A modification of the Conditional Use Permit for the existing office use is required for a change in the site. Comprehensive Plan Designation: Low Density Multi-Family Residential; Zoning: R-2; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 09 BA; Tax Lot: 11800.
APPLICANT: Stan Potocki and Bruce McLean

Staff report. There are five existing mature trees on the site, as well as two street trees. No tree removal is proposed as part of this application. There are three conditions pertaining to trees.

Applicant Testimony: Bruce McLean was present to answer questions regarding the landscaping proposal for this project. Commissioner Jennings recommended that Bruce consider trees that would take more partial shade. She also suggested that they might want to plant more heavily for more lot coverage. Commissioner Holley recommended that Mr. McLean take a look at the big tree and see what needs to be done with it. It needs some attention, though this is only a suggestion, not a requirement.

Public Testimony: None present

1)     Tree Commission recommends the usage of a more shade tolerant tree along the southern lot line because of the shading produced by the Raywood Ash in the City of Ashland parking lot to the south.

2)     Ensure 50% coverage within 1-year and 90% coverage after 5-years.

Read the recommendation back to commission. All in agreement with recommendation.

C.     PLANNING ACTION 2005-00046 is a request for Outline Plan, Final Plan and Site Review approval for a nine-unit, nine-lot residential subdivision for the property located at 2001 Siskiyou Blvd. The application includes a request for two Variances to the off-street parking requirement. One Variance request is to allow for two less parking spaces on site than is required by ordinance. The other Variance is to not provide a disabled person parking space in the parking area. A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove five trees on the site. Comprehensive Plan Designation: High Density Multi-Family Residential; Zoning: R-3; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 15 AD; Tax Lot: 300.
APPLICANT: Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC)

Staff report. Ten trees of various size and species have been identified on the tree inventory. Five of the seven trees proposed for removal are six inches dbh or greater, ranging from 6-12 inches dbh. The application does not address the health of the trees, but states the removal is necessary to permit the development of the site to be consistent with other land use ordinance requirements. The remaining three trees are situated around the perimeter of the site and parking area. The three trees to be preserved are the larger, significant trees on the property, with a 20-inch dbh pine, and a 16-inch dbh fir near the north property line, and a 30-inch oak near the front property line in the Siskiyou Boulevard right-of-way. Tree protection measures will be installed in order to minimize potential impacts to the root zone caused by construction. Given the high-density zoning and the central location of the trees, it does appear difficult to develop the site at the target use and meet the site design requirements. Additionally, the proposed units have relatively small building footprints are modest in size, ranging from 848 to 1045 square feet. The applicant has focused on saving the two large stature trees near the north boundary and the significant oak adjacent to the parcel in the Siskiyou Boulevard right-of-way. Staff believes the tree removal request is justified.

Applicant Testimony: None present

Public Testimony: None present

The tree commission discussed the proposal. Commissioner Holley inquired about work that appears to be going on at this site though the planning action has not been approved nor have building permits been issued. John McLaughlin assured the commission that if any construction is taking place at this site it is without the knowledge or approval of the city.

Concerns were shared regarding the parking spaces within the drip line of the conifers. Having the catch basin in space one of the parking lot will affect the fir tree. It was noted that the large oak that is being left will not provide a canopy protection for the parking lot. The vegetation that is going to be planted around the oak needs to moved to at least an 8 foot radius from the base of the tree. The irrigation around the oak also needs to be very light to avoid over watering. The commissioners were concerned about the paving around the trees. It was questioned if the parking could be reconfigured in order to save the trees near the parking area. Perhaps they could consider alternative pervious parking. There was a great deal of concern regarding the damage that the excavation might create. It was suggested that the electrical vault and catch basin be relocated further away.

1)     Tree Commission has concern about the paving for the parking lot and its impacts to the large conifer on the northwest lot line.

2)     Consider usage of pervious pavement material in the parking lot near the large conifer on the northwest lot line to ensure the health of the tree.

3)     Tree Commission concerned about the large amount of excavation required to install the sidewalks, the electrical vault and catch basins in the vicinity of the large conifer in the northwest corner of the property. Tree Commission recommends moving the electric vault further from the root zone.

4)     Tree Commission recommends floating of the sidewalk over the root zone of the large conifer on the northwest lot line.

5)     The landscape vegetation shall be moved away from the trunk of the large street trees to a 3-foot diameter of clearance. The vegetation and irrigation at the base of the large oak shall be moved away from the trunk of the tree to a minimum 8-foot diameter of clearance.

Read the recommendation back to commission. All in agreement with recommendation.

A.     Review of 150 Church Street
Amy submitted a new site plan that the applicant, Rob Saladoff had given her showing the relocation of the basement door and steps. Amy noted that Tom Meyers, project arborist, recognized he had made a typing error in his report regarding the distance of the test holes from the subject tree "not 30' but 12'". Rob Saladoff showed pictures of the trench that was dug to show the roots of the tree in question. The trench showed that there were very few roots and they appeared to be 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Not a lot of feeder roots were showing. Commissioner Jennings commented that though some of the roots will be disturbed during the construction those roots should grow back without disturbing the trees. Commissioner Jennings asked that Tom Myers be on site during the excavation.

The Tree Commission has fulfilled the City Council Condition regarding the Oak tree on the neighboring property.

Tree Commission has reviewed the letter submitted by the applicant and by Tom Meyers the project arborist and has determined that the applicant has done their due diligence to ensure the health and survivability of the large oak tree.

B.     Volunteer Appreciation Day

Commissioner Holley highly recommended that the commission participate in the open house and fair. It was recommended for late May, preferably in the late afternoon 4pm-7pm. It was also suggested that the event be held at the Ashland Armory.

C.     Type I Landscaping Review

Commissioner Pritchard requested that the review board reconsider the 12:30 meeting time. It's an inconvenient time for her making it difficult for her to participate.
     April 5th: Ted Loftus, Bryan Holley, Tracey Cohen
     May 3rd: Ted Loftus, Lori Sager, Mary Pritchard
     June 7th: TBA

A.     Building Permits and Tree Protection
John McLaughlin discussed the ordinances and their inconsistencies. He asked the commission what direction they would like to take in resolving it. What triggers the tree protection? Commissioner Pritchard suggested that a written notice with educational information with a diagram be given out to applicants when they submit for building permits. This would be implemented on Thursday mornings with "over the counter permits." John McLaughlin felt it would be well received by the public. Commissioner Holley recommended that the staff bring it directly to the applicant's attention upon issuance of the permit. Amy stated that she and Derek could pass it out during their planning reviews on Thursday mornings.

B.     Planning Actions and Redesign for Trees
Bryan Holley and Planning Manager Bill Molnar had email discussion regarding how trees and redesign of projects were discussed with applicants. This discussion stemmed from a question raised by Holley at the February meeting and whether the planner facilitating the pre-application conference had mentioned the Tree Ordinance. The applicant's response was that the planner had not. Molnar states that at the pre-app meeting trees and tree preservation and protection were mentioned. 380 Clay Street was discussed by the commission. Commissioners Jennings and Pritchard had evaluated the trees. Commissioner Jennings was concerned about the decay of the big tree and its safety. It was recommended again that an independent arborist inspect the tree and give a report. Commission Pritchard re-suggested that an aerial inspection be done.

C.     Changes to the Agenda

Commissioner Jennings is concerned that a great deal of the commission's time is spent on Planning Actions. Commissioner Jennings arrived at the meeting this evening a little early and introduced herself to the visitors. This helped inform anyone of changes and helped start the meeting on time. It was noted that Amy's staff report changes helped a great deal also. Not going over the details of the entire project sped things up. It was discussed that moving the planning actions to the end of the meeting would allow more time for the other agenda items. However, it was decided by the commissioners that not everything on the agenda was appropriate for the audience and the agenda should stay the same at this time.

D.     Arbor Day
Mayor Morrison has agreed to participate in the planting of the tree. The suggested time is 9:30 a.m. Bob Plain from the Daily Tidings will write an article and put a picture in the newspaper that day. Amy is checking on the banner that is to go over Main Street. Amy is also checking on the status of the re-certification for Tree City USA. Donn Todt has ordered the Tree of the Year plaque. The cost is $150.00. It should be ready by the next meeting in April. The statewide, Oregon Department of Forestry sponsored Tree Walk will be April 3rd at 2:00, meeting at the Lower Duck Pond in Lithia Park.

A.     Liaison Reports - Cate Hartzell stated that Urban Forester will be put on the agenda in a couple of months. It was suggested that the commission look at what other cities are doing. Some of the questions were: How did they hire an urban forester? Would there be anyone who would volunteer for the position? How is it working in Medford? Could Ashland join Talent and Phoenix? It was suggested that an urban forester from Medford attend a meeting.

B.     Old Business - Heritage Tree
The Heritage Tree amendment to the ordinance was approved by the City Council. This now gives the Tree Commission the ability to begin a Heritage Tree list. Bring back to agenda in May to discuss.

C. New Items
Tracy Cohen the newly appointed Tree Commissioner was welcomed to the group.

Commission Jennings will be attending a workshop in Portland. It was agreed upon by the commissioners to sponsor her. Commissioner Jennings will drive and pay for her own hotel and the commission will pay for the admission fee.

Fred Stockwell's term will be expiring in April.

D.     Current Balance $510

E. Tree Commission Goals

0 Tree Tips
Daily Tidings Back Page
00 No reports from the education subcommittee
Tree Clinics - Commissioner Pritchard will be teaching a tree pruning clinic during Earth Day. She inquired if anyone knew of a nursery that would be interested in donating small trees or shrubs for the class. They would be returned. Commissioner Loftus had a couple of nurseries in mind and would let her know.
Tracking reports to the City Council
No new monitoring and enforcement issues to note. Bryan Holley will email Amy a copy of some correspondence that he and Adam Hanks had regarding trees.

Commissioner Jennings adjourned meeting at 9:20 pm

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