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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ashland Tree Commission

Regular Meeting

June 9, 2005




I.              CALL TO ORDER:   Chair January Jennings called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. on June 9, 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

Tracy Cohen (absent)

Ted Loftus

January Jennings


Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell (arrived at 8:35 p.m.)

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 May 5, 2005 minutes.

                Page 3 of 5 item number 5 fourth line down scrubs should be spelled shrubs.  Page 3 of 5 third paragraph down should read No more questions or comments were made.  Page 1 Call to order should read Acting Chair.  Holley suggested to help save time with typing to drop the commissioner title and just use the commissioner’s last name.  Page 2 of 5 second line from the bottom and page 3 of 5 first and third paragraphs KenCairin should be spelled KenCairn.  Page 4 of 5 item 7 section C the word “It” should not be capitalized in the middle of the sentence.  Pritchard/Rose m/s to approve the minutes of May  5, 2005 with corrections.  Voice vote:  All AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of May 5, 2005 were approved as corrected. 



There were no guests in attendance for tonight’s meeting.


Amy announced that the agenda was modified and that the Hersey Street project would be first.




A.  PLANNING ACTION 2005-00872 is a request for modification of a previously approved landscaping plan for the property located at 19 – 55 W. Hersey Street.  The proposal is to remove trees and plantings that are inappropriate sizes and species and replace with new trees and plantings of appropriate size and species, given the space available and site characteristics.  Seventeen trees are proposed for removal and eight are proposed for replanting.  Comprehensive Plan Designation:  Single Family Residential; Zoning:  R-1-5; Assessor’s Map #:  39 1E 04 CD; Tax Lot:  4000.

APPLICANT:  Harriet A. Scott


 Amy read the staff report and discussed the different areas of tree removal and the applicants suggested replacement trees. 


Holley informed the Commission that he had met with Ms. Scott last fall to review the site and had sent an email requesting some information about the project from the Tree Commission.  Holley stated that he can look at this action in an impartial way.  Because the changes that will be happening with this planning action are very dramatic Holley would like to find someone who would be willing to volunteer to video tape this site now during and after the new trees are in place.  This tape would be used for educational purposes.  Rose volunteered a camera. 


Amy shared that prior to the removal and replacement of the trees the staff advisor wants to see a new landscaping plan incorporating any of the recommended changes that the tree commission might have. 


Applicant Testimony:  Ms. Scott asked if because of the size of these planting areas would she be required to put in root barriers. It was suggested that she would most likely want to put them on both sides in the middle planter however just linear not wrapped around the roots  and only along the trees she will be planting.  Ms. Scott also inquired if there is a city requirement about lumination in the landscaping area.  Amy stated that there is not a landscape lumination required.


Public Testimony:  Ms. Scott’s neighbor, Marianna Visser, shared that she has a nice vegetable garden and would like to keep a little sun coming into that garden.  After discussing the issues the commission decided that no trees were necessary to be planted in area one but shrubs would be a good idea.  Loftus recommended putting in a broadleaf evergreen in the corridor area.  Pritchard also suggested that compact strawberry trees might be nice.  Pritchard would like to recommend a Fastigata planted in area one. 



1)       The Tree Commission recommends that no trees to be replanted in area One but tree commission would like to see shrubs and ground cover. 

2)       Tree commission recommends a broadleaf evergreen. 

3)       Replacement trees shall be replaced with 1 ¾ to 2” caliper trees. 

4)       Tree Commissions recommends three stakes and any other protection measures necessary to protect the saplings from deer rubs. 

5)       The commission also approves the conditions from the staff report.


Tom Giordano asked Jennings if they could reverse the order on the agenda and have the North Mountain Ave. project come second after the Willowbrook project.  John Galbraith the landscape architect for the project will be leaving early.  Jennings agreed.


B.  PLANNING ACTION 2004-141 is a request for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change from Jackson County zoning RR-5 (Rural Residential) to City of Ashland zoning R-2 (Low Density Multi-Family Residential) for an approximately 10-acre parcel located at 380 Clay Street. The request includes Outline Plan and Site Review approval for a 117-unit development under the Performance Standards Options.  An Exception to the Street Standards is requested to meander the proposed sidewalk on the Clay Street frontage around a cedar tree located in the southwest corner of the property.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove four trees on the site.  Comprehensive Plan Design:  Low Density Multi-Family (Proposed); Zoning:  R-2 (Proposed); Assessor’s Map #391E11C; Tax Lot:  2500.

APPLICANT:  D and A Enterprise


Amy read the staff report and showed the landscape plans. 


Applicant testimony:  Tom Giordano, Agent for the applicant and John Galbraith, Landscape Architect were present.  Mr. Giordano stated that the applicants had redesigned the project to include the Poplar trees.  The Poplars are in a common area and the applicants feel that because of the potential danger of those trees they will now be in a separate lot and ownership.  Mr. Giordano explained that the staff is insisting that there is a wetland to the northeast.  Mr. Giordano stated there is not one there however one was discovered in another location.  Mr. Giordano explained that it is a little different wetland than most people would think of because there is no physical feature like an indentation.  Because the applicants feel that it is an important function of the whole line of wetlands they have designed an area for the wetlands that would be a continuation flow from Clay St. to the NE corner connecting to other wetlands.  Because of the recent rainfall it’s been very difficult to find out exactly where the wetlands are.  Division of State Lands is sending a representative down on Tuesday to help them determine the wetlands area. Mr. Giordano said they would like to make this wetland a feature of the design making it a positive design element of the project.  Mr. Giordano is requesting support from the tree commission to go in that direction. 


The Tree Commissioners discussed the proposal. Sager asked if they would be doing any grading.  Mr. Giordano stated they would have to wait until talking with the Division of State Lands on Tuesday to see if that is a possibility.  They would like to do so to enhance it.  Sager asked what the plans were for the large White Oak at the corner of the parking lot.  Mr. Galbraith explained that the tree has electrical wire growing in it and it will be removed. 


Todt suggested that if the applicants do decide to go with a treatment facility wetland they should look very carefully where the trees are located. Todt suggested that on the west they provide more shade and on the east less shade with smaller stature trees.  Todt recommends Birch as a smaller stature tree.  Holley confirmed that though the applicants did lose a little in the total number of units they were able to protect the cottonwoods and still meet the minimal density standards.  Holley thanked the applicants for their efforts for trying to save the trees.


Public Testimony:  None present



1)       Tree Commission supports the idea of creating a functional wetland. 

2)       Tree commission suggests smaller stature trees on east and south side so as not to shade the wetlands to much and decrease the pollutant removing aspects of the wetland area.

3)       Tree commission recommends monitoring sensitive irrigation where necessary during the warm weather and throughout the project duration.


Sager asked to add another recommendation to Planning Action 2005-872 the Hersey Street proposal.  She recommended that they have permanent irrigation to the new plantings.


Sager recused herself from action 2005-00858


C.  PLANNING ACTION 2005-00858 is a request for Outline and Final Plan approval for a three-lot subdivision under the Performance Standards Options for the property located at 945 N. Mountain Ave., within the North Mountain Neighborhood Plan area.  The development requests a Site Review approval for a six-unit multi-family residential development, with three of the residential units that will include ground floor office spaces that can be used as Home Occupation offices.  Comprehensive Plan Designation:  North Mountain Central Overlay; Zoning:  NM-C; Assessor’s Map #391E04AC; Tax Lot: 500.

APPLICANT:  Greg White


Amy read the staff report and showed the landscaping plans. 


Applicant testimony:  Tom Giordano, 2635 Takelma Way, Agent for the applicant was present .  Mr. Giordano explained what they tried to do was design the buildings around the trees.  Consequently the buildings go in and out depending on where the trees were.  The Big Cone Pines did pose a problem because a few are actually leaning.  Mr. Giordano worked with Tom Myers on the project and he came up with a strategy.   Instead of removing the trees at the beginning of the project they will work on the site during the construction and look at the root structure at that time.  There is a possibility the trees might be safe and won’t have to be removed.  They will do each recommendation by a tree by tree basis. Mr. Giordano stated that one of their conditions is that an arborist is present during the construction and they will be working with Tom Myers.


The commissioners discussed this planning action. Pritchard applauded Mr. Giordano and the applicant for trying to make ever effort to try and save those trees.



1)    If the Pines do need to be removed the Tree Commission recommends conifers for the replacement trees.


Sager joined the group again. 


A.  Tree Ordinance Revision approved by Council

Amy handed out the revised Tree Ordinance with the amendment.  (Chapter 18.61)

The ordinance now says “Tree Protection as required by this section is applicable to any planning action or building permit associated with a planning action.”  John McLaughlin will be presenting this to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council.


B.      Trees at Lincoln Elementary and Briscoe

Robbin Pearce, Staff Conservationist, was a guest at tonight’s meeting to speak and answer questions regarding the landscaping and trees at Lincoln and Briscoe Elementary Schools.  


The Tree Commission discussed this topic.  Holley suggesting sending a memo from the Tree Commission stating that they will lend their support to any community effort involving all the stake holders including the Save Our Schools and Playground People, neighbors who are near the school, the School District and the Parks Department. Holley stated that if the school district says it doesn’t have enough money to water Lincoln and Briscoe playgrounds this summer then how can it set aside $20,000.00 for lighting at North Mountain Park that might not even happen this year.  His suggestion was to free up that money this year so they could use it. Sager stated that rather then solving it for one year the real fix would be to address it now with some sort of cost saving change to the system.  Sager would be willing to donate time to do the irrigation plan or work with someone.  She is sure others would be willing to help in many different ways. 


Loftus stated that though he was sensitive to what Holley was saying and he agreed with him he did not feel it was the Tree Commissions charge to get involved in this politically.  He feels the commissions charge is to be active and advocate for the trees.  Amy stated that after speaking with Bill Molnar he felt like a letter would be a good place to start stating that these trees are an asset to the community not just to the school district or the group living in Briscoe.  Sager said some education needs to be done to clear up the issue of the trees needing watering.  Todt said the latest he had heard was that the school district had planned to water the front of both Lincoln and Briscoe Schools.


Amy requested the Tree Commission draft a letter and then she will have Mr. Molnar review it and perhaps he too might sign it as the planning manager.    Ms. Pearce stated she supports what the Tree Commissioners are saying about the trees but not to forget the park playgrounds are also a community asset.  Ms. Pearce  would like to see the commissioners support the landscaping as well as the trees. 


Pritchard asked Ms. Pearce if there was a dollar amount of what it looks like it will cost to water these trees during the summer.  Ms. Pearce stated that not knowing what the weather would be like it would be difficult to figure.  She had heard that the bill was already $10,000.00 but she could not document that.  Ms. Pearce also stated that the meter at Briscoe School has been turned off to the irrigation.


Todt stated that as of July 1, 2005 the parks will no longer be taking care of the school properties.

Amy requested that the Tree Commission write up a memo and she will take it to a staff meeting next week and see the legalities of whether they can turn the water off or not. 


Holley and Loftus suggested they attend the next School Board meeting.  Hartzell announced that on June 27, 2005 the City Council will be having a joint study session with the Parks Department and the School District.  She asked the Tree Commission to let her know how much time they would need for this topic and she will get it on the agenda. Ms. Pearce would like to work with the maintenance person or team and help them understand what the system is doing and make adjustments to make it be efficient to help minimize this bill.  Let’s resolve the issue first!



  1.  Lithia Way Tree List

The Commissioners suggested the following trees:  Ginkgo, Crapemyrtle, Dogwoods, Oregon Myrtle, Carpinus Betulus Fastigata, Raywood Ash, Fraxinus Pennsylvanica, Chinese Pistache, Trident Maple, Carpinus, Acer Grandidentatum, Ash, Sugar Maple, Acer Nigrum ,Acer Rubrum, Ulmus Wilsoniana and Zelcova.


Loftus stated he is not totally convinced to limiting the trees to 3 to 5 species.   Pritchard commented that because of the physical constrains on Lithia Way it limited her list.  Pritchard stated that there is a problem on Lithia Way with the spaces for roots.  There is a liquid Amber where the concrete is right up against the trunk and so keeping that in consideration some tress such as Ginkgo would benefit from a bigger root run than exists on Lithia Way. Todt stated that ultimately Lithia Way will probably be lined with two and three story buildings so Pritchard suggested that taller trees be planted.  It was noted that Developers need assistance when given the tree list so that they know which trees to plant where.  Some require shade some require sunshine.


Loftus mentioned that most of the new buildings will probably be two to three stories and have a ten foot setback.  Amy informed the commission that the legal department has interpreted that all buildings along arterial streets must have a 20 foot setback.  Todt stated it would be nice for the trees.  Loftus stated he did not want the building department to limit necessarily the type of tree they plant because of the only buildings that will be permitted.  Loftus feels sometime it would be OK to require a tree to be setback far enough that they could put in a huge canopying tree to shade. 


Holley suggested they put together a one page addendum to slip into the recommended tree booklet. Harzell suggested that in the addendum they state “These are our 3 to 5 favorites and here’s why” followed by another tier and so on. 


Pritchard and Rose volunteered to start a sub-committee and work on the addendum.  Todt suggested that the subcommittee look at the idea that the City takes more responsibility and help maintain the trees on Lithia Way like they do on Main St.


  1. Street Trees and Pruning Assistance

This item was moved to next month’s agenda. 


  1. Mitigation and a Dollar Amount

At last months meeting Bill Harrington shared the industry standard is $56.00 a square inch for deciduous and $48.00 a square inch for conifers.  Holley suggested printing the information from the ISA website and giving to Ms. Pearce so that she has something to take with her on site visits.  Hartzell suggested putting the information into a user friendly guide.  Sager suggested that they give Ms Pearce this information and she could put something together provided she had the time. 


Holley suggested that the City Council needs to adopt this by resolution.  Holley stated that on the basis of this report from the tree commission we will discuss what we the City of Ashland is going to advocate.  It then will go through the resolution process.




A.      Liaison Reports

a.        Heritage Tree Sub Committee.  This item was tabled until next month.

Hartzell encouraged the Tree Commission to feel empowered to make the recommendations that they do and to think freely about it.  The City Council is looking for guidance and she thanked the commission for the work that they do.


         B.   Old Business



C.      New Items

Todt wanted to hear from the Tree Commission regarding the Ailanthus trees on the ODOT property.  Amy told Todt that she has put the recommendations in writing and will give him a copy.  Todt reported that they will be removing those trees in the near future. 


Todt handed out his list of problematic species along with a memo regarding limb clearance above City Streets.


D.      Current Balance $194.19

Amy will be ordering the Michael Dirr Manual of Woody Landscape Plants and the Sunset Western Gardener.


E.       Tree Commission Goals 

Tabled until next months meeting.

I.         Daily Tidings Back Page

Holley stated that after speaking with Ann Seltzer and Sager it is no longer necessary to have the City of Ashland logo on the back page of the Daily Tidings.  Amy reminded the commission that before anything can be printed the staff needs to review it.

 II.   Monitoring

         1.  Tracking Reports to City Council

Amy reported that 90 Seventh St. began work before the tree protection was in place.  They picked up their building permit this morning and did not do their tree protection before starting.  Amy notified Adam and he immediately called the owners. 


VII.              ADJOURNMENT

             Commissioner Jennings adjourned meeting at 9:45 p.m.








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