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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ashland Tree Commission
Regular Meeting
May 5, 2005

I. CALL TO ORDER: Chair Ted Loftus called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. on May 5, 2005 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building at 51 Winburn Way.
Commissioners Present: Pennie Rose
Bryan Holley
Mary Pritchard
Laurie Sager (absent)
Tracy Cohen
Ted Loftus
January Jennings (absent)
Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell (absent)
Staff Present: Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner
Donn Todt, Parks Department
Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The following corrections were noted for the April 7, 2005 minutes. Page 2, the last sentence of the last paragraph under planning action A, the last sentence should read: John Galbraith invited the commissioners to go by and view his new pervious technique at his new parking lot located at 318 Grape St. Page 3, item VI #1. Third sentence, "It was discussed that since the planning commission" should have been the "city council" #2 Don Todd spells his name Donn Todt. Page 2, planning action A, Bryan requested that both the Lithia Way Tree list and the Shasta Building be put on the agenda. It was noted this is not a correction just a reminder. Amy confirmed that both items were on the agenda to be discussed. Pritchard/Holley m/s to approve the minutes of April 7, 2005 with corrections. Voice vote: All AYES, Motion passed. The minutes of April 7, 2005 were approved as corrected.
Medford Urban Forester Bill Harrington was our special guest this evening. Mr. Harrington has been Medford's arborist for the past 6 months as well as the staff person on the tree committee. He is currently working with Public Works on street overlays, curb and gutters and sidewalk damages. He is working with city engineers regarding design plans, parks & recreation, the Building Department and landscapers. His hope is the value he is adding to the community is the education of the citizens regarding the value of trees and the asset management component of that. He also hopes his value to the city comes from having someone on staff that various departments can refer to for help in making decisions. Medford is a Tree City USA for the 9th year.

Commissioner Pritchard asked if he was part of the parks and recreation budget. Mr. Harrington acknowledged that he manages his own budget from within the parks and recreation department. Commissioner Holley stated that the commission had drafted an urban forestry program and that Mr. Harrington had hit on a lot of the issues that an urban forester could help with in Ashland. Commissioner Holley suggested that Mr. Harrington get in touch with former tree commissioner, Fred Stockwell, to see some of the current canopy photos that he has taken as aerial photos are a real asset to educating citizens.

Mr. Harrington shared that educating the citizens about the value of a tree speaks a lot. The industry standard in the Pacific Northwest is $56.00 a square inch for deciduous and $48.00 a square inch for conifers. The commissioners acknowledged that they appreciated the recent informative news reports regarding the tree in Medford that was vandalized. The monetary value of $9,300.00 speaks to people in an area they understand. Commissioner Rose stated that she believes that tree care is cost driven and that education alone isn't going to help the home owner. Medford has a no fee permit associated with any kind of tree care work. Once the home owners understand that Mr. Harrington feels he can help instruct them on the proper tree care. Commissioner Holley acknowledged that Ashland has the same issue and would like to see the expense remedied in a fair and common sense way so that the property owners and the city can both benefit.

Commissioner Loftus asked Mr. Harrington if he would be willing to meet with them again because he feels they could both be a good resource for each other. It underlines where we want to go said commissioner Pritchard.


PLANNING ACTION 2005-230 is a request for a Land Partition to divide one existing parcel into two parcels including a flag lot at the rear for the property located at 1031 Park St. Comprehensive Plan Design: Single-Family Residential District; Zoning: R-1-7.5; Assessor's Map # 391E15AD; Tax Lot: 3401.
Applicant: Steve Larson

Amy read the staff report along with letters from concerned neighbors regarding how this development will impact the neighborhood.

The Tree Commission discussed the proposal. Though it is not necessary that the home owner do anything at this time Amy explained that the home owner is required to do a bonding to take care of any future street improvements. Because there is no other sidewalk on any other part of this street his property does not look out of place. The commissioners were only concerned with the materials that would be used in the project. Amy read the staff recommendations.

Commissioner Holley asked what would happen with the little circular drive. The applicant Steve Larsen shared that they will not be tearing up the circular driveway but just removing the curb cuts. It will be used for additional parking.

Recommendations: Tree commission recommends bumping out sidewalk at location of large Redwood along the street frontage when constructed in the future and supports the staff recommendation.

PLANNING ACTION 2005-00671 is a request for a Site Review approval to construct a 2-story mixed-use building comprised of office space, retail space, a meditation center and two residential units. A Conditional Use Permit to use the middle floor as a religious use being a Buddhist Meditation Center. Comprehensive Plan Design: Retail Employment District; Zoning: E-1. Assessor's Map #391E04CD; Tax Lot: 1801.
Applicant: Kagyu Sukha Choling

Though this planning action had been postponed nothing on the landscaping plans had changed so it was agreed upon to review it even though Amy did not have a staff report to go along with it.

Kerry Kencairn explained the landscaping plans. Commissioner Pritchard asked about the run off plan. Ms Kencairn explained that there will be a complete storm drainage plan that goes with the landscaping plan. Ms Kencairn shared the property owner John Fields, the landscape architects and the client are hyper environmentally concerned.

Commissioner Rose asked for clarification regarding the plant material increase by 50% in one year. Commissioner Pritchard explained this meant that there needs to be 50% ground coverage after one year. The purpose of this requirement was to provide large enough plantings for soil stability and site coverage.

Ms. Kencairn asked if there were any landscape questions she could answer so that they do not have to come back. No more questions of comments were made.

Re- Review of the tree protection plan and landscaping plan for the Shasta building located at 96 E. Main. PA#2004-002. This plan was originally reviewed in December of 2004. The applicants are not proposing any changes. The commissioners discussed the removing and replanting of trees and scrubs. In order to keep that gateway feeling as you enter into downtown Commissioner Pritchard would like to see some kind of lattice on the side of the building.

Recommendations: Tree commission would appreciate continued communication with city staff and departments, ODOT and the applicants.

A. Earthday Reports
Commissioner Holley read a survey for the Earthday evaluation. The commissioners rated the event. Amy read a letter from Kate Jackson directed towards Adam Hanks and Dean Walker. Ms Jackson's comment was "What happened to the tree ordinance to protect the trees from removal before construction on Indiana St. and Madrone?" Commissioner Loftus suggested in the future that the commission get the name of the project coordinator who is responsible for the trees. Often it is the landscape architect or the project manager. The person whom the commission has been dealing with at SOU is retiring, Bruce Moats. It was suggested to invite the new coordinator to one of our meetings and build a relationship with them.

Commissioner Rose asked what the protocol is when she or someone notices that something is happening on a site that shouldn't be. Amy informed her that Adam Hanks is the City Code Compliance Officer and that would be the person to call or send an email to. Commissioner Loftus thanked both Commissioners Holley and Pritchard along with everyone else for all the hard work they did for Earth Day.

B. Heritage Tree
Amy spoke with Robbin Pearce regarding the adoption of the Heritage Tree list. According to Amy just the ordinance for the language to start the Heritage Tree process has been adopted. Now it is time to start a Heritage Tree list. Commissioner Holley suggested it might be nice to kick it off at a city council meeting. It was agreed upon that the nominated trees must be on a voluntary basis because it is a deed restriction for the property owner. Commissioner Pritchard would like to have the trees identified that are currently Heritage Trees. Amy said she will get it and bring it to the meeting next month. It was agreed upon to have a sub committee on Heritage Trees. Commissioners Cohen and Rose volunteered. Commissioner Holley also agreed to initially help them. It was also suggested that Bryan Nelson, former tree commissioner, would be a good person to call for assistance.
C. Lithia Way Tree List
Donn Todt had mentioned at last months meeting that with the development beginning to happen along Lithia Way he would like to see a list of tree species for that area. It was agreed upon that instead of 15 species to have 3 or 4. Donn requested that each of the commissioners recommend five trees. It was agreed upon that each commissioner will bring their list to the next meeting. When the list is decided upon it will then be sent to the local landscape architects.
D. R-2 / R-3 property owners & Tree Removal
The commissioners had previously discussed sending a postcard to R-2 and R-3 property owners regarding tree removal. There seems to be some confusion as to when a home owner needs to get a tree removal permit and when they do not. Amy shared that because there isn't any data on where in Ashland the R-2 and R-3 multi family developments are there isn't a way to create a mailing list to send the information out. It was suggested that perhaps it might also be considered meddling. Amy suggested that City Source be used as a way to reach the home owners.
A. Liaison Reports
a. Cate Hartzell was absent.

b. Donn Todt reported that he is working on a list of what he refers to as "problematic species." He gave a report regarding the Ailanthus trees at the Shasta site. The Ashland Parks and Recreation will be taking over the ODOT properties. Because it is easier to do tree removals before the landscaping is done he is asking permission to remove the Ailanthus trees. The commission agreed to support the removal of the trees on the ODOT site. The commission also suggested that a landscaping plan be available at the time of the removal.

B. Old Business
Amy had provided a letter on how landowners can be liable for damages when trees cross property lines. She will have the legal department look at it and put it in the packet next month.
C. New Items
Dean Walker and Adam Hanks sent out a letter to over 1500 property owners to let them know that their trees might be impinging on the street. The commissioners discussed the issue of the street trees and the legal claims from delivery crews. Commissioner Holley said the Tree Commission had been trying to build bridges with Public Works, Street and Electric departments for quite some time. It was agreed by the commissioners that It is far better that the branches be trimmed off rather then having them whacked off by the delivery trucks.

Commissioner Rose inquired about what her procedure should be when she receives a letter or email from a concerned home owner. Holley stated that whenever a commissioner receives a letter from a citizen or an email they should be contacted as soon as possible. Sometimes it's necessary to review the question with the Tree Commission first.

Dave Wood will be taking his arborist test in August along with the test for utility arborist.

Amy said it was necessary to appoint a vice chair and a secretary. Commissioner Rose volunteered to be secretary and Commissioner Pritchard was willing to be the vice chair as long as it doesn't mean she will automatically become chair.

D. Current Balance $194.19.
E. The commissioners discussed how the extra money could be best utilized. It was decided upon to dedicate the money to resource books.
F. Tree Commission Goals
a. Education: Commissioner Pritchard would like to repeat her tree clinic one more time this year, perhaps in the fall. Commissioner Holley also suggested that the tree commission participate in Arbor Day next year which is the first week in April. An example would be to do a class on pruning.

b. Monitoring
     i. Tracking reports to the City Council: Amy reported that some trees in the Oak Sub-Division went unprotected before work started on the site. Adam made a visit to the property and they did put up orange fencing. The chain fencing will be provided by Matzger as he is the one required to put it up.

The City Council now wants reports from each committee. This will give Amy an opportunity to share any concerns or comments that the Tree Commission has.

Commissioner Holley had received pictures from Richard and Dorothy Davis. Their tree was Tree of the Year. Commissioner Rose offered to frame the tree of the year picture.

VII. ADJOURNMENT: Commissioner Loftus adjourned meeting at 9:33 pm

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