Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Minutes

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


                                              ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

April 19, 2005 – 6:00 p.m.

Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street




Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.



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



The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting Minutes of April 5, 2005 were approved as presented.



Tree Commissioner Bryan Holley presented the City of Ashland the Tree City USA award. 


Proclamations regarding the Protection and Preservation of the Whale Population, Independent Media Week of April 17 – 23, Volunteer Recognition Week of April 17 – 23, Respite Care Awareness Week of April 17, 2005 and Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month were read aloud.



1.      Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.

2.      Liquor License Application – Willliam Tosheff dba Dragonfly at 241 Hargadine Street.

3.      Liquor License Application – Smart Cookies, Inc. at 59 N. Main Street.

4.      Confirmation of appointments to Ad Hoc SDC Committee.


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



1.      (Continuation) Request for a Zone Change from R-1-5-P to R-2 and Comprehensive Plan Map change from Single Family Residential to Low Density Multi-Family for an approximately 1.3-acre parcel located on the west side of Fordyce Street, between Orchid Street and Kirk Lane.  The application includes a request for Outline Plan and Site Review approval for a 13-unit, multi-family subdivision under the Performance Standards Option, as well as a Physical Constraints Permit to establish a driveway crossing over an existing drainage way. A Tree Removal request is also included with this application.

Mayor Morrison read aloud the procedure for Public Hearing for Land Use Hearings and called the Public Hearing to order at 6:23 p.m.



Councilor Hartzell disclosed that she performed a site visit, during which she observed the wetlands, topography, water issues, tree sizes, house sizes and fire safety response.


REBUTTAL (cont.)

Alan Harper/Attorney representing the Applicant and Melanie Mindlin/Applicant made themselves available for questions from the Council.


Ms. Mindlin clarified that the water at the far end of the property was a Talent Irrigation Ditch.  She stated that this element has not been worked out with the architect yet, but believes that they have the option to pipe the irrigation canal if needed.


Council noted some of the concerns raised by the Tree Commission regarding a driveway located on top of  tree roots.  Ms. Mindlin explained that she was assured by her professionals that they could develop a tree protection plan that would address this issue without needing to move the driveway.


In regards to the fire lane issue, Ms. Mindlin stated that it has always been their intention to place a removable barrier.


Ms. Mindlin clarified that they do no anticipate holding public meetings on site.


Ms. Mindlin spoke regarding the proposed path.  She stated that Staff has asked that the path be 6 feet wide and have an all weather surface, however they are requesting that the City allow the path to be 4 feet wide and constructed of decomposed granite.  She added that the narrower path would be used by pedestrians only and they would post a sign prohibiting bicycles.


Mr. Harper explained that the State’s Bond Program was used as benchmark for what the group was willing to commit to for the deed restriction.  He stated that they will determine a percentage from the final build cost and the appraised value; this percentage will then be tied into the deed restrictions. 


Council questioned how long this development would remain as co-housing and questioned if it could be turned into condominiums in the future.  Ms. Mindlin stated that co-housing was a social arrangement and they are hard to legislate.  She explained that the owners in this development would have the first right to refusal, which would hopefully keep the development as co-housing.


Ms. Mindlin clarified that they would be willing to restrict the number of vehicles each co-housing member could have.


Ms. Mindlin explained that when the group first looked at this parcel for co-housing, they thought it would be possible to build 9 affordable units, which is consistent with the current zoning, however shortly thereafter they became disillusioned that they would be able to retain the affordability without increasing the number of units.  




Assistant City Attorney Mike Reeder briefly explained the Staff Report submitted to Council.  He stated that is was key for the Council to determine whether this project complied with the Comprehensive Plan and suggested that the Council determine which policies were most important and base their decision on that.


Senior Planner Bill Molnar was called forward to answer Council’s questions. 


Council asked for clarification on the ingress and egress requirement.  Mr. Molnar explained that the burden is on the applicant to show that their design not only services their project, but it also has to extend to the boundary so that it can connect with future developments.  In regards to this specific project, Mr. Molnar explained that Staff encouraged the applicant early on to look for some type of multi-modal path that would extend to the west property line and ultimately connect to the adjacent 10 acres that have not yet been annexed into the City.  He added that the City would require a public pedestrian easement for this path to ensure that it becomes an integrated pathway through all the neighborhoods.


Council questioned what would happen if the zone change was approved and the project fell through before it was completed.  Mr. Reeder clarified that the Applicant had orally agreed that the zone change would be conditional upon the completion of the co-housing project.  It was noted that Council could add this as a condition.


Mr. Reeder explained that there is legal standing for either decision the Council makes, however they need to be clear in stating which policies they used to make their decision. 


Mr. Molnar stated that the Planning Commission primarily focused on the zone change, however if the Council decided to reject the Planning Commission’s decision, they could approve the change and then differ the other issues pertaining to the Physical Constraints Permit and Tree Removal Request back to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Franell disagreed that this was an option for the Council because the application before  them is subject to the 120 day rule; therefore the Council will have to make a definitive decision tonight.


It was suggested that the Council propose a motion and then discuss the conditions for approval afterwards.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve the zone change to R-2 for this parcel contingent upon the Council agreeing upon acceptable conditions with a subsequent motion, and contingent upon this particular project building out.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson stated that this application addresses a variety of Comprehensive Plan Policies and explained which support this application and which were not applicable: VI-1(a-c) supports the application, VI-2(a) not applicable, VI-2(b) supports the application, VI-2(c) not applicable, VI-3(a) not applicable, VI-3(b-d) supports the application, VI-4 not applicable, VI-5 supports the application, IV-9 support the application, IX-24 supports the application, IV-13 supports the application, IV-20 supports the application, VIII-5 supports the application, and IX-3 supports the application.  Jackson commented that the positive elements of this application outweigh the slight increase in density.  Councilor Hartzell expressed concern that the Tree Commission minutes were not included in the record until tonight  and stated that the Commission’s recommendations were not included in any of the proposed conditions.  Jackson clarified that her motion was dependent on the Council agreeing to acceptable conditions and that Council could address this issue in the discussion to follow.  Mr. Franell stated that in order to abide by the 120 day rule, the Council must make a decision tonight, including a decision on the conditions.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Hearn, YES; Councilor Hardesty and Hartzell, No.    Motion passed 4-2.


Mr. Molnar suggested that the Council revise Condition #7 to include language that reflects that the proposal will be subject to the equity limitation agreement as stipulated by the applicant’s addendum and that the City be named as the beneficiary of that agreement. 


Council discussed the proposed conditions as presented by Staff:


Condition #1: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #2: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #3: Staff clarified that all units would have to meet the requirements of the Earth Advantage Program.  Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #4: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #5: Staff clarified that the second sentence in this condition was inserted as a reminder that no building permits would be issued until the Applicant has met with the City’s Housing Specialist and identified the 2-3 units that will meet the requirements for the zone change and the agreements for this are prepared. Staff noted that Council could insert the language “consistent with the City of Ashland’s resolution regarding affordable housing guidelines”.  It was suggested that the Council express their concerns to Staff, and they   will modify the conditions accordingly before this comes back to the Council for final review.


Condition #6: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #7: Revised language for this condition was noted at the beginning of this discussion.


Condition #8: It was questioned if a future City Council could remove the deed restriction?  Mr. Franell clarified that yes, generally this would be the case.  Staff clarified that the base density under the R-2 zone allows up to 17 units, however the Applicant has agreed to build just 13.  Staff proposed adding a covenant, so if the Applicant did want to add more units, they would first have to obtain Council’s approval to remove the covenant, and would then have to go back through the land use action to increase the density.  Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #9: It was noted that the Applicant requested that the path be 4’ instead of 6’ and requested that they be allowed to use a permeable surface.  Suggestion was made to keep the 6’ width, but encourage the permeable surface.  The revised condition would read, “The multi-use pathway shall be a minimum of 6-feet in width and surfaced with an all-weather surface such as concrete, asphalt or permeable surface prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.”  Council discussed whether this was the appropriate place to address the dedicated public easement.  Comment was made that the easement was important, even if they simply add the language “at such time other property is developed”.  Council agreed to include the public easement provision in the amended condition.  Council expressed support for not limiting the path to pedestrian use only.


Condition #10: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #11: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #12: Councilor Hartzell requested that the recommendations from the Tree Commission be   inserted. Recommendation was made for this condition to incorporate that 1) the Applicant will address the protection of the trees location on the northern neighbors property and the Landscape Architect for this project will implement protection measures, 2) the Landscape and Tree Protection Plans will be reviewed by the full Tree Commission prior to the approval of the final plan, and 3) mitigation (on-site, off-site or donation).


Condition #13: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #14: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #15: Suggestion was made to make sure this condition includes the posting of a gate or post that would prevent vehicles from parking in the emergency access area. Council agreed on this condition with the noted addition.


Condition #16:  Suggestion was made to revise condition to read  “...including but not limited to all common areas and planting strips, as well as an irrigation system plan...”  Council agreed to this change.


Condition #17: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #18: Council agreed on this condition as written.


Condition #19 (New Condition): The zone change is contingent on the project being used for said use.


Condition #20 (New Condition): An agreement shall be reached between Planning Staff and the Applicant in regard to local car ownership as to limit excess cars resulting from the development.


It was suggested that the Council allow the Legal Staff to come up with the appropriate verbiage for the conditions.


Mr. Reeder requested clarification as to whether the Council objected to the number of parking spaces or just the number of vehicles that each unit owner could have. 


Comment was made requesting that the owners have fewer cars than there are parking spaces, so that guest parking could be accommodated.  Councilor Jackson noted that the required number of parking spaces for a single family home is two, and stated that the current design meets the code.  She stated that the concern about overspill applies citywide and was reluctant to support a condition for this.  Suggestion was made to reach an agreement that the project will generate no on-street parking of vehicles owned by residents.


Condition #21: (New Condition) There will be no meetings open to the general public and no leasing or renting of the facilities for non-member activity.  Council agreed to this additional condition.


Mr. Franell explained that the Applicant will be required to prepare the initial Findings; Staff will then review the Findings and make appropriate adjustments before they come back to the Council.


Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the 21 conditions as discussed by Council with revisions to be implemented by Staff and contingent upon final review. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hearn, Silbiger, Jackson, Hardesty, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.


Councilor Hartzell requested that the Findings reflect that there was not a consensus reached by the Council, as some supported the Planning Commission’s decision.  Mr. Franell stated that there are some contravening policies within the City’s Comprehensive Plan and he saw no problem identifying the elements of the plan   that were not met by this application, but he would also indicate that the Council weighed the elements and the majority voted that certain policies overrode those that were not met.  Council agreed that this was appropriate.


2.   Appeal of Planning Action 2004-150 – A Request for a Conditional Use Permit to modify a non-conforming site by constructing a social hall addition on the existing Unitarian Church building located at 87 Fourth Street. In addition, the Conditional Use Permit request includes the use of the residence at 65 Fourth Street for additional meeting space, and of the backyard as a playground.  The site is considered non-conforming because the existing amount of off-street parking is less than that required by ordinance.

Mayor Morrison read aloud the procedures for Public Hearings for Land Use Hearings and called the Public Hearing to order at 8:59 p.m.



Councilor Hearn stated that he owns the lots across the street from this project and asked the Council to allow him to be excused.


Councilor Amarotico/Hardesty m/s to excuse Councilor Hearn.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Hearn left the Council Chambers at 9:00 p.m.


Councilor Hartzell stated that until recently, she worked directly across the street from this area and stated that she also lives nearby and is familiar with the traffic and parking patterns.  Hartzell stated that this did not affect her ability to remain unbiased.  She also noted that she was present at the Tree Commission meeting when this project was presented.


Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to extend public hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Jackson noted that she is a board member for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and that this group once held a meeting at this site.


Councilor Silbiger disclosed that he performed a site visit, and has had unrelated conversations with Tom Giordano and Philip Lang.  He also noted that his mother was involved in the purchase of the Unitarian Church many years ago, but stated that he does not believe that this would constitute a bias.


Councilor Hardesty stated that he attended the Planning Commission meeting when this application was first presented.



City Planner Maria Harris explained that this application has two components.  The first is to build an addition on the north side of the existing church building, which is called the social hall addition; the second part of   the Conditional Permit Request is to use the rear yard of the property the church owns for a playground and use the existing residence as meeting space. 


Ms. Harris explained that this site was non-conforming because there isn’t the required off-street parking that would be required if the church was built brand new today.  She noted that the current criteria requires 27 parking spaces and this development would only have 19.  Ms. Harris noted that the trees on the property would be preserved and stated that there are no changes proposed to the house structure.  Ms. Harris explained that Staff looked at the number of vehicle trips per day of the proposed structure compared to that of the target use, and found that they were similar.  She noted that the Planning Commission reviewed this application and approved the Conditional Use Permit by unanimous vote, with 18 conditions.  Ms. Harris explained the Council’s options and stated if the Council decided to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision, Staff suggests they revise Condition #7 to read, “That a parking easement for tax lot 100 to use the new spaces on tax lot 200 shall be recorded prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the social hall.”


Mr. Molnar clarified that a non-conforming use is something that is not identified as permitted or conditional in the zoning district and clarified that this project was an allowed use in a residential zone.


It was questioned whether the parking was non-conforming or if the parking was allowed to be less than the zoning requirements through the Conditional Use.  Mr. Reeder stated that it was up to the Council to make this interpretation and that he believed it could be interpreted either way.


Mr. Reeder clarified for Council that it is up to the Applicant to document whether there is or isn’t a parking problem. Mr. Franell stated that the Council needed to address the interpretation issue of whether or not parking is considered to be a requirement of the underlying zone or whether it is a requirement outside of that.  This determination will establish whether parking is an issue at all.


Mr. Molnar clarified that the Conditional Use Permit criteria allows the Council to assess the potential impacts of the proposal.


Due to the 9:30 hearing deadline, Mayor Morrison stated that this Public Hearing would be continued at the Council meting on May 3rd, 2005.  Request was made for Staff to provide a copy of any additional materials that are submitted to the Council prior to the Public Hearing on May 3rd.




Bill Robertson/2175 Tolman Creek Rd/Noted that the Forest Commission appointments had been pulled from the agenda and asked that the Mayor reconsider re-appointing him to the Commission.  Mr. Robertson noted his experience on the Commission and his background and stated that the City was headed for potential devastation.


Loree Arthur/Grants Pass/Commended the Council on their decision regarding the co-housing development and requested that the Council not curtail their right of assembly.


Council stopped Ms. Arthur to receive clarification as to whether this testimony was appropriate. Mr. Franell clarified that the Council had already taken public testimony on the merits of the co-housing project and taking additional testimony prior to the adoption of the Findings could cause problems.





1.      Proposed Agreement between Falcon Heights Developer, Williamson Way Residents, and City of Ashland regarding Mountain Creek.

Interim Public Works Director Joe Strahl and City Engineer Pieter Smeenk presented the staff report. Mr. Strahl explained that the developer of the Falcon Heights sub-division was required to improve the drainage corridor for Mountain Creek.  After construction was underway, several neighbors bordering the channel raised concern about the stability of the gabions and the flow bearing characteristics of the channel.  The neighbors then hired Consultant Bill Galli of the Galli Group to evaluate the design and construction, and his report indicated that the channel was too narrow and would not have the capability to handle a 100-year storm.  Mr. Galli suggested that the design be modified to replace 55 ft. of the gabion section with a 48 inch diameter pipe, which would handle the flow and prevent any further erosion from underneath of the gabions.  This option would also relieve the neighbors’ concerns about the stability of the gabions and the stability of their home foundations. 


The City approached the developer and asked that they pay $15,000 towards the estimate for installing the culvert pipe and removing the gabions, which they agreed to do. The neighborhood would be responsible for completing the design with the Galli Group and submitting it to the City for approval.  They would also be responsible for hiring a contractor who will ensure that the work is performed to the satisfaction of the City  and the neighbors would be responsible for cost over the $15,000 estimate.  Mr. Strahl stated that the City’s role is to play go between until the situation is rectified. 


Arlen Gregorio/474 Williamson Way/Noted that several of the neighbors were available for questions if needed.


Mr. Strahl clarified for the Council that the maintenance of this pipe would be less than the maintenance association with the gabion wall.  He explained that the pipe would have a smooth surface which would allow water and sediment to pass through rapidly and would not provide a surface where material could get hung up.  However, in the event that there was a large blockage, because the pipe is only 55 ft. long, it would be fairly easy to work from either end to clear the blockage.  Mr. Strahl stated that this could be done with the equipment and personnel that the City currently possesses, and would be a fairly routine matter.  It was also noted that if the pipe was blocked, the design would allow for water to flow over the top of the pipe and this situation would not impact the houses.


Mr. Molnar clarified that the requirement for the Falcon Heights sub-division was to have a means for discharging the storm drainage and that this modification would not require the plan to go back to the Planning Commission.


In regards to riparian preservation along Mountain Creek, Mr. Molnar explained that a plan was developed by the Landscape Architect.  The improvements have been designed however nothing has been approved or installed at this point.  Mr. Molnar stated that the City would not finalize the lots for the sub-division until the improvements have been completed or a sufficient bond has been set aside.


Comment was made that the City should be more proactive is designing the rest of this stretch of land to circumvent future issues.


Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to authorize the Community Development Director to request that the Planning Commission approve a piped drainage way for an approximate distance of 55 feet upstream of Williamson Way and to authorize the City Administrator to sign an agreement to be prepared by the City Attorney that accomplishes the desires of the affected neighborhood and removes an obstacle to the completion of the Falcon Heights development. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


2.      Council election of Audit Committee member.


Councilor Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to table this matter until an appointment is made to the Budget Committee to replace Jay Lininger. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


3.      Confirmation of Mayor’s annual appointments/reappointments to the various City Boards, Commissions and Committees.

It was noted that the Forest Lands Commission appointments would be made at a later date.


Councilors Jackson/Amarotico m/s to accept the Mayor’s annual appointments/reappointments. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



1.      Second reading by title only of “An Ordinance Vacating a Portion of Placer Run.”


Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to approve Ordinance #2918.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Silbiger, Hardesty, Jackson and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.


2.      Reading by title only of “A Resolution Determining Contract with Day Wireless Systems is a Sole-Source Contract and Exempting Day Wireless Systems Contract from Formal Competitive Solicitation Requirements.”


Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2005-13.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Jackson, Hartzell, Hardesty and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.



1.      Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss possible meetings with Parks Commission and School District. 

Councilor Hartzell explained that occasionally issues arise that pertain to the Parks Commission and School District as well as the Council (most recently the RFP to the School District regarding Lincoln Elementary), and suggested that the elected bodies speak with each other periodically.  Hartzell suggested that a joint study session be scheduled and asked the Council if they would agree to direct Staff to contact both the Parks Commission and the School Board to coordinate a date.


Council expressed their support this idea. Mayor Morrison approved of the idea and stated that he would welcome the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern.  City Administrator Gino Grimaldi stated that they could possibly schedule a meeting for the end of June.  


2.   Budget Committee Appointment.

Mr. Franell clarified that there are no procedures for appointments to the Budget Committee on the books and stated that he believes the Council has the authority to make this appointment tonight.


Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to appoint Marty Levine to the Budget Committee. DISCUSSION: Comment was made that the only way to get diversity on the commissions is to generate some turnover and create opportunities on an ongoing basis.  Suggestion was made for the City to re-advertise the vacancy so that more people are aware.  Councilor Silbiger spoke regarding the necessity of having a CPA on the Audit Committee.  Councilor Jackson suggested that the Council appoint Guy Nutter instead.  This would create a vacancy on the Audit Committee, which could then be advertised to recruit a CPA.  Mr. Franell clarified that State Statute requires that when a member resigns the City must replace that member, and although the   Budget Committee state law does not specify a time frame, it is important to have a full committee prior to the May 2nd meeting.  Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Amarotico and Mayor Morrison, YES; Councilor Hartzell and Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Councilor Hartzell requested that the various commissions and committees update the Council on a more regular basis. 



Meeting was adjourned at 10:29 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                               John W. Morrison, Mayor

Online City Services

Pay Your Utility Bill
Connect to
Ashland Fiber Network
Request Conservation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Building Permit
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2023 City of Ashland, OR | Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A




twitter facebook Email Share
back to top