Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Study Session-ExParte-Videotape-Committees

Tuesday, July 26, 2005





JULY 26, 2005



The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chair John Fields at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main Street, Ashland, OR.


                              Commissioners Present:   John Fields, Chair

                                                                           Mike Morris

                                                                           John Stromberg

                                                                           Olena Black

                                                                           Dave Dotterrer   

                                                                           Allen Douma

                                                                           Michael Dawkins

                                                                           Russ Chapman

                                                                           Kerry KenCairn

                              Absent Members:                              None

                              Council Liaison:                 Jack Hardesty – absent

                              Staff:                                    John McLaughlin, Planning Director

                                                                           Bill Molnar, Planning Manager

                                                                           Sue Yates, Executive Secretary



Fields thanked McLaughlin for his many years of dedicated service to planning and the City of Ashland and presented him with an aerial photo of downtown Ashland. 



Dotterrer/Dawkins m/s to approve the findings for PA2005-00858, 945 N. Mountain Avenue, Greg White.  Voice Vote:  Approved.


Douma/Dotterrer m/s to approve the findings for PA2004-141, 380 Clay Street, D & A Enterprises.  Morris noted again that he had done some work for his brother who was doing work for the applicant. 



Reeder wrote a memo to the Mayor, City Council and Planning Commission dated July 26, 2005 in response to the Planning Commission issues raised by Randall Hopkins in a recent e-mail.  


Reeder stated further that the purpose of the state law requiring disclosure of ex parte contact is to allow people who were not a party to the conversation an opportunity to hear the substance of the conversation and be given an opportunity to rebut the substance of the disclosure.  State law does not prohibit ex parte contacts.  Commissioners need to declare site visits.  They need to declare any ex parte contacts and describe the substance of it. 


Reeder said as a matter of course, after Commission members have disclosed their ex parte contacts, that the Chair then offer members of the audience the opportunity to ask questions, comment or challenge  the members of the Commission outside his/her testimony time.


The Commissioners had a lengthy discussion about bias. 


Fields suggested the Commissioners continue the ex parte discussion at another meeting.


Reeder thought in the future he would discuss appropriate procedures to follow under certain scenarios.


Douma asked Reeder to provide the Commissioners with a list of what the Commissioners are supposed to report when doing a site visit.



Stromberg said he spoke with the City Administrator, Gino Grimaldi.  Grimaldi said if the Commission wishes to videotape more than just the regular monthly Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission needs to vote and approve a recommendation to the Council that the Council arrange to have certain Planning Commission sessions videotaped.  Stromberg provided some financial information, but stated that Grimaldi told him not to let the cost be a factor.  The Council will take the cost into consideration and make a decision. 


Stromberg said we have an arrangement with RVTV where someone tapes the meetings.  They broadcast, rebroadcast and put the videos on a streaming video on the City’s website.  The City buys 100 streaming videos a year.  We pay $25 an hour for someone to videotape a meeting.  A ballpark figure for ten two-hour Hearings Boards and ten two-hour study sessions a year would cost between $1000 to $1400.  Both the Hearings Board and study sessions would be broadcast live but neither would be rebroadcast.  RVTV keeps up to 100 videotapes.  They pass the oldest videos to Barbara Christensen, City Recorder to keep in her archives. 


A discussion ensued regarding the pros and cons of being televised.  The majority thought all planning sessions should be broadcast.  Staff said by televising the study sessions, the Commissioners might have an unrealistic expectation of how much preparation can be done by Staff prior to the meeting.  Staff is already stretched.


The question was asked why the Council doesn’t videotape their study sessions.


Chapman felt that there are other commissions that do important work for the City and he would like to give them an opportunity to be on camera once before the Planning Commission has two chances.


Douma/Dawkins m/s to make a recommendation to the Council that they provide funding to videotape and televise the second session of the month as well as the Hearings Board.  Roll Call:  KenCairn, Chapman, Dawkins, Stromberg, Dotterrer, Douma, Fields and Black voted “yes” and Morris voted “no.”  The motion carried.


BRYAN HOLLEY, wondered if anyone had done a study showing the level of interest for watching the broadcast.  He would like to see the streaming videos archived and not drop off the web.



Douma asked when a committee meets, does it need to be noticed?  Reeder said if a committee has more than one member and passes on a recommendation to the full commission, it needs to be treated like any other public meeting with proper notice given.  Minutes can be taken as to who was there and what was discussed.  All written communications should be sent to the Planning office.


Reeder said he would get back to the Commission as to whether or not discussion of the agenda falls under public meetings.  If someone wants to discuss an agenda item with the Chair, send those messages to the Chair but not to the rest of the Commission.



  1.  Downtown Plan – With McLaughlin’s departure, the Downtown Plan is up in the air.  It is important there is a planner at the committee meeting.  There is a meeting scheduled for noon on Thursday the 28th  to keep everything moving forward.

B.    Roles and Duties – Dotterrer said he is coming up with the Planning Commission purpose statement.  It will be short, including why and what the Commission is supposed to do.  He’s compiling duties and responsibilities from 20 different towns.  When he is finished, he will present it to the Commission. 

C.    Comprehensive Plan Update and Citizens’ Involvement – Black met with the Mayor and is working on getting some clarification from Reeder regarding reinstatement of CPAC. 

D.    Communication – They discussed setting aside a few minutes of the first meeting of the month so the committees can communicate their activity with handouts.  Douma will send around the outline for the communication plan.  Chapman said they are working on a Citizen’s Guide for Planning Commission meetings.  They’ve worked with Derek Severson, Assistant Planner.  They will circulate the guide to Staff to make edits and then bring it the Commission.

E.    Ordinance Amendments – The committee would like to see a list of ordinance amendments the Commission would like addressed.  It was suggested this be put on the next study session agenda to look at a list of items.  KenCairn and Morris are not planning to do anything yet as a committee. 

F.    Housing Policies - There is no committee.



Dawkins would like the Commission to consider whether or not they should eliminate Chapter 18.28.I of the Land Use Ordinance.  Doing so would disallow converting apartments to condominiums. 


McLaughlin thought this would be a good topic to discuss with the Housing Commission.  Molnar noted the larger issue in the Action Plan is how much land gets eaten up in “for-purchase” housing.  Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist mentioned the Housing Commission has looked at land use amendments and one has been a limitation of “for-purchase” housing.  However, those were prior to implementation of Measure 37.


The Commissioners seemed willing to discuss the subject, though some did not perceive a problem.  The Commissioners thought it would be helpful if Dawkins wrote something up that laid out what the issues are and along with the principle arguments.  Then, allocate time at a study session.  Dawkins might want to consider meeting with Goldman.  Fields asked that the issues be solidified in a one page summary.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Susan Yates, Executive Secretary














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