Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, July 25, 2005

City of Ashland






July 25, 2005



Present:    Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Regular Meeting – June 27, 2005

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum

Terence Stenson, 297 Garfield Street, read from a stream restoration project report that he wrote based on work conducted in Ashland Creek.

Don Senestraro, 2017 Wine Street, reported that the baseball community raised its portion of the required funds toward the purchase of lights for the baseball fields at North Mountain Park, and that an anonymous donor agreed to match those funds, bringing the baseball group to their targeted goal of $35,000.

Paul Copeland, 462 Jennifer Street, spoke about the need to continue watering the Lincoln and Briscoe School playgrounds and lawns.


The commission agreed to add the topic “Garfield Park Amplification Request” under “New Business.”



Robertson provided background information about the topic, referencing the public meetings held by the landscape architecture firm of Lango Hansen for the purpose of soliciting input for the design of the park site. He invited Kurt Lango and his associate, Steve Roelof, to speak to the commission.

Lango and Roelof discussed the two public meetings, which drew approximately 30 participants each, and reported that they received a great deal of input from those in attendance [about desired elements for the park]. At the first meeting, Lango reported that participants talked about using drought-tolerant and native vegetation, including a play area for children, and providing a pedestrian connection to N. Main Street. At the second meeting, the firm presented three possible plans and asked participants to express thoughts about them. Based on feedback from both meetings, the firm drew up a draft master plan, incorporating elements from the three proposals.

Lango and Roelof presented their draft master plan to the commission and requested feedback.

Public Input

Rick Landt, 468 Helman Street, expressed a number of concerns about the proposed draft plan and suggested revisions.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed various aspects of the draft plan, including whether bathrooms would be necessary. Other commissioner thoughts were: the desire for a larger play area; more trees and shrubs; more space for community garden plots; the inclusion of both deciduous and coniferous trees [to provide shade]; and shallower turns in walking paths.

Additional Public Input

Rhonda Burgess, a neighbor of the park site, voiced support for the existing draft master plan, stating that she attended the public meetings and heard many of the thoughts that were expressed. She indicated that the draft plan under review constituted a compromise based on feedback received at the meetings, and that it was an accurate reflection of that feedback.

Robertson directed the Lango Hansen firm to refine the draft plan using commissioner and public input as their guide, and to prepare it for another review at the regular commission meeting in August.


Robertson introduced the topic, reminding the commission that they agreed, at their July 18 study session, to decide whether community gardens might be included as a viable Parks-run recreational activity within Ashland. If so, he advised that a community garden policy was necessary to provide structure to that activity. Gardiner invited members of the public to speak on the matter.

Public Input

Ellie Read, 398 Laurel Street, prepared a written statement [that was read to the commissioners by Patrick Marcus]. In it, she advocated for the continued operation of the community garden at its present location.

Sylvia Thomas, 585 and 603 Oak Street, spoke favorably about the existing community garden and urged the commission to allow it to remain in operation on Hersey Street. She urged the commission to “cultivate community through gardening.”

Bryan Holley, 324 Liberty Street, strongly urged the commission to allow the garden to remain in operation at its current location.

Carol Carlson, 509 N. Mountain Street, addressed benefits of community gardening, including stewardship of the land and the sharing of food and gardening tips, and urged the commission to continue to allow the garden to operate at its current location.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Each commissioner expressed thoughts on the community garden issue: Eggers spoke of her support of the concept, stating that she is also a gardener but that her role as a commissioner often requires her to raise tough questions. She expressed confidence in the thorough job of the commission in working through the process. If approved by the commission [as a viable recreational activity], she spoke of the further expansion of community gardens in Ashland. Gardiner voiced support for Parks-run community gardens and urged the formation of a subcommittee [to include members of the public] to formulate a policy and support the growth of the gardening community. D. Amarotico stressed the importance of using the existing community gardening supporters in the development of a community garden policy. Lewis expressed the need to flesh out elements required for the creation of the ideal community garden setup in Ashland. Rosenthal spoke in favor of the continuing support of community gardening in Ashland. Gardiner called for a motion.

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the formation of a subcommittee for the purpose of formulating a community garden policy. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Commissioners D. Amarotico and Eggers agreed to join the subcommittee, on which two citizens will also serve.



Robertson reported that staff received a request from the Southern Oregon Historical Society to place a historical marker at the entrance to Lithia Park. He invited a representative from the organization to speak to the commission.

Steve Wyatt, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Southern Oregon Historical Society, requested permission to place a historical marker at the entrance to Lithia Park. He referenced packet information showing examples of both the style and content of the proposed marker.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners questioned whether the request would fall under the jurisdiction of the Signs, Plaques, and Memorials Subcommittee. They also discussed the importance of honoring a prior request from the Lithia Springs Rotary Club to place a directional marker at the front of the park. Commissioners requested an opportunity to view a full-scale drawing or design for the proposed sign.

Eggers agreed to provide edits of the draft directional marker for Wyatt, and the commission asked that the edits be incorporated into the draft [for future review by the commission]. Commissioners agreed to solicit feedback from the Historic Commission about the request and to review the existing signs policy to determine whether the marker would be an appropriate addition to the park.


Robertson referenced the packet information regarding the five trail easements offered by willing property owners along the Talent Irrigation Ditch trail. He reported that all five of the proposed easements would fall within the Open Space Plan parameters established in 2002.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the easements and questioned whether Parks would be responsible for any liability associated with the use of those parcels. Staff informed them that Parks would be responsible for any accidents associated with their use.

MOTION Eggers moved to recommend to the City Council the acceptance of the trail easements offered by willing property owners. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Teige reported that the Ashland Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission asked the Parks Department to help sponsor a “Bike In” movie event at Garfield Park on Thursday, September 22, at 8:00 PM. She asked the commission to consider approving the use of sound amplification at the event, which would be in association with Car Free Day.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners spoke favorably of the request and Gardiner called for a motion.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the request by staff and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission to use Garfield Park for a Car-Free Day movie event on Thursday, September 22, at 8:00 PM. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no



Gies reported on current [and recently finished] projects within the parks system and updated the commission on their status.


Eggers spoke with concern about the recently elevated levels of fecal coliform and E. coli in Ashland Creek water and requested that the commission research possible sources for the pollution in the near future. Robertson agreed to meet with a representative from Public Works and to report on the discussion at the next regular meeting.


·     Public meeting on Vogel Property park site – time/place/date TBA.

·     Joint study session with the City Council and the Ashland School Board – July 28 at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main. Topics to include:

·     Prioritization of issues and goals

·     Regular meeting set for August 22 at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topics to include:

·     Public Art Commission project update



Executive Session

Real Property ORS 192.660 (1)(e)



ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 10:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department


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