Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

June 7, 2005 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

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

Mayor Morrison noted that he would be adjusting the agenda to move the Public Forum ahead of the Consent Agenda and noted that several of the resolutions would be postponed to a subsequent meeting.

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 17, 2005 were approved with the addition of the word "existing" before "parking" on page 7 under discussion of the motion denying PA 2005-00045.

The Executive Meeting Minutes of May 17, 2005 were approved as presented.

Proclamations of June 7, 2005 as National Hunger Awareness Day, June 14, 2005 as Flag Day in the City of Ashland and June 5 - 11, 2005 as World Environment Week in the City of Ashland were read aloud.

Matthew Bernard/Ty Garo/Jeremy Judd/1749 Siskiyou Blvd/Southern Oregon University students attempting to measure the political opinions of Ashland's citizens as compared to its government. Requested that the council take the survey.

Johanna Fisher/958 Golden Aspen Place/Commented on the issue of a door that permits entry from the second floor of Golden Aspen to the Mt. Meadows clubhouse. Ms. Fisher noted that there has been a series of break-ins to the clubhouse and stated that the Planning Department had denied a request which would allow the door to be locked between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. because it is a fire exit. Ms. Fischer stated that there are three other exits on the second floor that could be used in the event of a fire and requested that the council overturn the denial.

Pam Vavra/2800 Dead Indian Memorial Rd/Spoke regarding the World Environment Day Proclamation.

Roy Sutton/989 Golden Aspen Place/Spoke regarding the door at Mt. Meadows and stated that a petition had been circulated which indicated that a number of people would challenged if this door was closed off permanently, which was the recommendation of the Planning Dept. Mr. Sutton explained that the door would not be considered a fire exit for a number of reasons and stated that individuals would not seek this doorway in an emergency.

Joaquin Saloma/368 York Street/Brought message to Police Department and City Council to do away with an abrasive control policy. Mr. Saloma noted his lifestyle and how he has been consistently attacked by the Ashland Police department and sited several examples. He stated that he has watched the Police Department change over the years and how the police have become aggressive. Mr. Saloma explained how he is changing his lifestyle to fight what he believes is an injustice.

Ian Wallin/368 York Street/Agreed with what was spoken by Joaquin Saloma and shared a recent experience with the Ashland Police Department where he witnessed a police vehicle speeding through a neighborhood prior to a fatal car accident. He felt that the pursuit led to a death and although it hasn't been reported as a pursuit, he believes that it was. He requested that there be further investigation into this matter.

Kirk Herenow/Spoke about the loss of a bench at Pioneer and Main St. and requested that it be replaced.


1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Murray (Budd) Gottlieb to the Ashland Fiber Network Programming Committee for a term to expire April 30, 2008.
3. Confirmation of Mayor's reappointment of JoAnne Eggers (as the Parks Commission representative) to the Forest Lands Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2008 and appointment of Joseph Vaile to the Forest Lands Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2007.
4. Annual Ambulance License Renewal.
5. Contract for Wastewater Treatment Plant TMDL Thermal Load Limit with Carollo Engineers.

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi clarified that Item #5 was in the budget.

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


1.  Public Hearing to consider adopting the Annual Budget.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the Staff Report and gave a brief summary of the budget process. He stated that the final budget for FY 2005-06 was $88,263,850 and noted that a summary of changes had been provided to the Council for their review.

Mr. Tuneberg noted the possible late delivery of a bucket truck ordered by the City and requested that the resolution be modified to set the appropriation level $70,000 higher than what is currently listed. Doing so will cover the cost of the vehicle if it is delivered after June 30, 2005. He noted that if the bucket truck was delivered before the end of the current fiscal year, the $70,000 added to next year's budget would not be spent. Mr. Tuneberg clarified that this modification would bring to total budget to $71,582,815.

Mr. Tuneberg clarified that the resolutions removed from the agenda by the Mayor related to the supplemental budget and should have been listed on the agenda as a public hearing and noticed appropriately. He recommended that these resolutions be re-noticed correctly and brought back at the Council's next meeting.

Public Hearing Open: 7:45 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:45 p.m.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated that the Rental Assistance Program had been reduced in the budget, but noted that the City had the flexibility to combine the funds into rental assistance.

2. Planning Action 2005-008 - 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) that allows a residential component and in the Detail Site Review Zone which requires additional building design features.
Mayor Morrison called the Public Hearing to order at 7:50 p.m.

Ex Parte Contacts
Councilor Hartzell stated that she was presented at the Tree Commission meeting when this application was discussed.

Council Hardesty stated that early on in the project he had spoken with Mr. and Mrs. Bustamante in general terms, but had not committed himself one way or another.

Staff Report
City Planner Maria Harris provided an explanation of the proposal. She noted that the applicants are requesting annexation of a 1.6 acre property located at the corner of Benson Way and Crowson Rd. that is proposed to be developed in a business complex that would contain offices, light industrial spaces and three residential units. In total there would be six buildings, one of which currently exists as a residential but is proposed to be renovated into office space. Ms. Harris stated that the Planning Commission approved the application for site review at their March 8th meeting, and noted that the Findings were included in the record and specified 27 conditions.

Ms. Harris pointed out the annexation approval criteria (which is listed on page 85 of the record) and explained that the application met all of the criteria and noted that the affordable housing and residential requirements did not apply because the proposal would only include 3 residential units. She stated that this property would be annexed into the City as E-1, which is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Map, and noted that Staff had recommended that the front portion of the property, which would have the residential/office building, be brought in to the Residential Overlay as well as the Detail Site Review Zone. Ms. Harris noted that the fourth criteria requires a provision for public utilities and stated that all of the required utilities are either currently in place or could be extended to serve this property. In terms of the transportation criteria, it was noted that Benson Way is already a fully improved street, and Crowson Rd is currently a county road, but it is comparable in width to a city street and the applicant has agreed to pay for the pavement overlay, bike lane widening, and installation of sidewalks. Ms. Harris noted that RVTD had indicated that it would be approximately 10 years before they would be providing transit service to this area.

Ms. Harris noted the comments received by some of the neighboring property owners which posed some concerns about the building's design and the materials that would be used. She stated that Staff's recommendation was to approve the annexation request with the conditions stated on page 26 of the record, with the addition of two additional conditions that have been proposed by Staff and listed on the Council Communication dated June 7, 2005.

Alan Harper/717 Murphy Rd, Medford/Representing the Applicant/Stated that they had already gone before the Planning Commission and received approval and noted that this project had not been appealed. Mr. Harper stated that in regards to one of the neighbors concerns, the applicant was willing to add Evergreen Laurels to their landscape plan and stated that they had no objections to the two additional conditions proposed by Staff.

Tom Giordano/Stated that the applicants had met the criteria for annexation, they had already received site approval from the Planning Commission and noted their willingness to work with the neighbor to address his concerns. Mr. Giordano added that the proposed project was consistent with the E-1 zoning and development pattern for the area and noted that the location of the buildings would provide for a nice transition.

Mr. Harper stated that the color pallet that would be used for the buildings was similar to that of the Grove Building and clarified that by no means was this going be a shiny metal building. He also noted that the applicant had agreed early on in this process to increase the setbacks quite substantially in order to provide a larger buffer from surrounding property. The applicant has also reduced the size of the buildings and lowered the finished floor line so that the majority of it is below the finished grade. Mr. Harper clarified that if the front building on Crowson and Benson was brought in under the Detail Site Review zone, it would require much more scrutiny and detail of the building. He added that this would be a sophisticated building that would provide a nice transition.

Those wishing to provide testimony
Cody Bustamante/597 Benson Way/Stated that he lives on the property to the north and stated that he was not opposed to the annexation but had some concerns with the design and the solar setback standards. Mr. Bustamante stated that the E-1 zone district does not require yard restrictions or solar setbacks, except when the subject parcel adjoins a residential district. He stated that they are currently a residential zone and explained that they have no intention of developing their property of moving and thinks the current designation should trump the development plans for the future. He mentioned that the Findings state that the building shall meet Solar Setback 'B', but noted that the criteria for applying this standard states that it is "for any lot not abutting a residential zone to the north". Mr. Bustamante requested that Solar Setback Standard 'A' be applied to Building C, and explained that this building runs the full length of his property.

Laura Bustamante/597 Benson Way/Stated that having a huge building that abuts their rural environment will have an impact on their lives. She noted the size of their house and stated that they had to install large windows and French doors to allow more sunlight in. She commented on the importance of their backyard and the amount of labor and resources they have invested in it. Ms. Bustamante requested that the applicant install a 6 ft. tall masonry wall along the property line and stated that screening though landscape was not enough. She expressed her concerns about future tenants and stated that the project was slated to be built in three different stages and requested that the construction phase be limited to a reasonable duration. Ms. Bustamante clarified that these concerns were raised at the Planning Commission Hearing however they did not receive a significant response.

Staff Response
City Attorney Mike Franell clarified that the issues raised regarding the Solar Access Standards and the installation of a wall along the property line were Site Review criteria. He stated that for the annexation request, the Council should only be looking at whether there is adequate water, sewer, storm drainage and transportation facilities at the site. Mr. Franell clarified that an annexation is a legislative action. He stated that even if the applicant has met all of the criteria, the Council still has the discretion to deny the request if they do not want to expand the City's boundaries. Mr. Franell added that if they denied the request, it would be beneficial to state their reasons, and noted that their reasons could not violate public policy.

Mr. Giordano noted that the original design had been modified to address the neighbors concerned. He stated that they increased the set-back and reduced the height of Building C. He explained that the neighbors had expressed concern about the height of the building that abuts their property, but noted that this building was only 10 ft. high in this location and stated that this would not create a solar shadow. He stated that even if the building were built right on the property line, and the entire height was 16 ft., this would still meet the requirements for Solar Standard B.

Mr. Giordano stated that according to the Comprehensive Plan this entire area was scheduled to be zoned E-1 and stated that applying criteria for properties adjacent to residential was not appropriate in this case because the land to the north will eventually become zoned E-1. Even so, he explained that they had done their best to accommodate the neighbors concerns by pulling the building further back from the property line, they reduced the building to the ground by several feel and have also proposed to install a 6 ft. wood fence along the property line (and stated that this would be more appropriate than a concrete block wall). Mr. Giordano also stated that they are not going to phase this project and are not going to have a long protracted construction period.

Mr. Harper stated that because this application was not appealed at the Planning Commission level, the only tool available for Council was to impose their conditions at the annexation level.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:00 p.m.

Council Deliberation
Suggestion was made for the Council to table this issue for tonight with the stipulation that the applicant and neighbors get together and see what they can work out with the majority of the issues and come back to the Council with a way that would memorialize those agreements, at which time the council could make their decision. Opposing comment was made that the Council should vote on this issue tonight. Comment was made that the applicant had represented their willingness to work with the neighbors and opposition was voiced to tabling this issue. Statement was made that the interests of the community would be best served by following the planning process.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to table this matter until July 19, 2005, with the request that the applicant work with adjacent land owners on the issues brought forward tonight and bring back something that addresses as many of those issues as possible, in a way that they are memorialized. DISCUSSION: Mr. Franell clarified that the 120-day rule does not apply to annexations. He also stated that Staff would advertise this agenda item appropriately for the next meeting. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-1.


1.   Public Art Commission Request for Funding.
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer gave brief background on the request by the Public Arts Commission for funding. Richard Benson, Chair of the Public Arts Commission identified 3 options that could be used for funding public art:
     1) 1% of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)
         .5% of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)
     2) Annual allotment of $50,000 from TOT general fund monies
     3) $.03 increase in property tax

Suggestion was made for the Council to split up their decision into two parts. First vote on whether they want to support public art, and then take a vote on the funding option. Several councilors stated that they were in favor of public art, but voiced their opposition to the options presented. Statement was made that obtaining funds for unspecified public arts projects was not the charge of the commission.

Colin Swales/1282 Old Willow Lane/Noted his involvement with the formation of the Public Arts Commission and commented on the public art displays in Lake Oswego. Mr. Swales explained the provision for public art contained in the Ashland's large scale development ordinance, and suggested that that this provision be made mandatory rather than discretional.

Councilor Jackson explained the public arts process used in Lake Oswego. She noted that the commission had completed their policies and guidelines; however it was a draft and meant to be more of a working document. She explained that the commission had attempted to gain private funding, but had been unsuccessful because there was no city contribution.

It was questioned why the Public Arts Commission couldn't apply for a grant from the City. Suggestion was made to ask the Public Arts Commission to complete their policies and a long term strategy for a public arts program.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to ask the Public Arts Commission to bring back policies and a plan for a diverse long-term public art program. DISCUSSION: Opinion was expressed that setting money aside without some kind of adopted plan did not make sense. Opposition to this was voiced and suggestion was made for the Council to determine whether public art was something they want to support, and if so, move forward with this. Opposition was expressed to the options presented by the commission. City Administrator Gino Grimaldi stated that Staff could take another look at funding sources. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

2. Adoption of 2005-2006 council goals.
Item postponed due to time constraints.


1. Options regarding the Ashland Fiber Network.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi commented on the possible creation of a committee to formulate options regarding the future of AFN, and noted the information provided in the council packet.

Support was voiced for the Council to narrowly define the task of this committee, who would be charged with bringing back a set of options, not recommendations. Suggestion was made for the committee to provide the advantages and disadvantages of each option. It was questioned whether the committee should be charged with identifying the social and economic benefits. Comment was made that the committee's report should capture some of conversations that deal with the social and economic benefits. Suggestion was made for the Council to be involved in the selection of the committee members. It was suggested for the second sentence under #1 on Councilor Hartzell's memo is amended to read: "Options may include, but are not limited to..." Regarding the makeup of the committee, suggestion was made for the members to be neutral and comment was made that anyone who has taken a strong position on this issue should not be appointed.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s authorize the Mayor to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee with the appropriate expertise and give them the charge as proposed in Councilor's Hartzell's memo. DISCUSSION: It was clarified that this motion did not include the suggested amendment to the language. Statement was made that the committee can make their own determination on this and then clear it with Staff and the Council if necessary. Mayor Morrison suggested a possible amendment as "...authorize Mayor, with the approval of Council, appoint an Ad Hoc Committee..."

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s amend to have Mayor recommend a committee with Council's approval. Voice Vote on amendment: all AYES. Motion passed.

Voice Vote on amended motion: all AYES. Motion passed.

2. Adoption of Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Planning Action 2005-00045 - Rick Schiller, 394 E. Hersey Street.
Mr. Franell clarified that the he had reviewed the initial draft of the Findings and made some comments, however he had not reviewed the final draft. He also stated that he felt that the language accurately captured the negative impacts discussed during the public hearing and would be legally defensible.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve adoption of Findings for PA 2005-00045, which denies the application. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution certifying City provides sufficient municipal services to qualify for State Subventions."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave a brief explanation on the purpose of the resolution.

Councilor Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2005-16. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Silbiger, Hartzell, Jackson and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution declaring City's election to receive State Revenues."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave a brief explanation on the purpose of the resolution.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2005-17. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Hardesty, Jackson, Amarotico and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.

3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting the Annual Budget and Making Appropriations."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave a brief explanation on the purpose of the resolution and requested an amendment adding $70,000 to the equipment fund to cover the bucket truck. This would make the total appropriations for next year $71,582,815.

Councilor Hardesty/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2005-18 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Hardesty, Jackson, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

4. First reading of "An Ordinance Levying Taxes for Period July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2005, such taxes in the sum of $8,803,680 upon all the Real and Personal Property subject to Assessment and Levy within the Corporate Limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg gave a breif explanation on the purpose of the ordinance and the ordinance was read in full.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance and move to second reading on June 21, 2005. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Jackson and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting Miscellaneous Fees for Services Where Necessary."
Item postponed until June 21, 2005.
6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Transferring Appropriations for FY 2004-05."
Item postponed until June 21, 2005
7. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting a Supplemental Budget Establishing Appropriations within the 2004-2005 Budget."
Item postponed until June 21, 2005.
8. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing an Interfund Loan to the Community Development Block Grant Fund from the General Fund."
Item postponed until June 21, 2005.
9. Reading by title only "A Resolution Authorizing an Interfund Loan to the Street Fund from the Wastewater Fund."
Item postponed until June 21, 2005.
10. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Revising Rates for Electric Service Pursuant to Municipal Code Section 14.16.030 and Repealing Resolution 2004.40."
Councilor Silbiger commented that he had some suggestions to handling this as a surcharge rather than a charge and suggested that this be looked into and brought back as an option at a future meeting.

Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid stated that delaying this decision to a future meeting could have an impact. He stated that it would take Staff a little while to crunch the numbers associated with Mr. Silbiger's suggestion and stated that the rate hike might have to be higher if it is postponed for several months. Finance Director Lee Tuneberg stated that it would be better to wait and look at all of the alternatives. He added that this may end up changing what they had initially proposed, but Staff would prefer to have a solution that is supported by the Council.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to table the electric rate increase until the July 19, 2005 council meeting. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Amarotico and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

11. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for Assessments to be Charged against Lots within the Strawberry Improvement District No. 83."

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

City Engineer Jim Olson noted the background of the Strawberry LID and stated that the project was now complete. He explained that paving the streets in this area has controlled the drainage and run-off and stated that this project has put a stop to the silt, decomposed granite and dust that was ending up in Ashland Creek. Mr. Olson noted the final costs and stated that the project came in $50,000 less than what was estimated. He noted that several city owned properties were included in the assessment district and explained that the City's obligation for the total project was 68%. The three assessment rates were mentioned and Mr. Olson stated that the Public Hearing was scheduled for July 19th, 2005.

The participation of the City, which is listed in Resolution 1999-09, was noted and is: 60% of the sidewalk improvements, 75% of the storm drain improvements, 20% of the total cost for street surface improvements, and 50% of total costs for engineering and administrative services.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #2005-19. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.

1.  Update by Councilor Jackson on Regional Problem Solving Project.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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