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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting Minutes

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ashland Tree Commission

Regular Meeting

December 8, 2005




I.              CALL TO ORDER:   Chair January Jennings called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on December 8, 2005 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way.


Commissioners Present:  Pennie Rose (absent)

Bryan Holley

Mary Pritchard

Laurie Sager (arrived at 8:30)

Ted Loftus (absent)

January Jennings

Steve Siewert



Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell, (absent)

Staff Present:Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

                                   Donn Todt, Parks Department, (absent)                   

                                   Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


II.            APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Page 4 under item D the Daily Tidings invoice is for ads not articles. Holley/Pritchard m/s to approve the minutes of November 3, 2005. Voice vote:  All AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of November 3, 2005 were approved.



None present.



PLANNING ACTION: #2005-01673

DESCRIPTION:   Request for Site Review approval of a mixed-use commercial and residential development to be located at 1651 Ashland Street.  The proposal includes two, three-story mixed-use commercial and residential buildings.  Both buildings will consist of office and retail uses on the ground floors, and residential units on the first, second and third floors.  A total of 23 residential units are included in the proposed development.  The site is located in the Detail Site Review Zone, and is subject to the Detail Site Review Standards.  In addition, the proposal is subject to the Large Scale Development Standards because it exceeds 10,000 square feet in size and includes buildings greater than 100 feet in length.  An Administrative Variance from the Site Design and Use Standards is requested for the distance between the buildings.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove 18 trees on site.    Comprehensive Plan Designation: Commercial; Zoning: C-1; Assessorís Map #: 39 1E 10 DC; Tax Lots: 8700 & 9201.



Commissioner Pritchard noted that though she has hired Laurie Sager as a Landscape Architect to help her with some personal gardening she feels she can be impartial regarding this Planning Action. 


Applicant Testimony:  Tom Giordano was present to represent the applicant.  Mr. Giordano explained that there is actually two pieces of property and the layout has one building on each lot.  Because there are two lots originally there were also two curb cuts. When the improvements were made on Ashland Street one of the driveways got closed off though normally every lot is allowed at least one curb cut. 


The applicantís goal is to keep the pedestrian area separate from the car area.  Mr. Giordano would like the Tree Commission to make a recommendation that the Plaza areas be retained.  Mr. Giordano stated that he will suggest to the Planning Commission that if they like the concept of the project that they approve it with the condition that it comes back to both the Planning Commission and the Tree Commission with a more detail design of those Plaza areas. 


Tom Myers, Arborist, and Kerry KenCairn, Landscape Architect, were present to answer questions.



1)       Tree Commission supports the on-site mitigation as proposed by the applicant, including supplemental trees to be added in the plaza/courtyard.


2)       Tree Commission supports the plaza/courtyard plan between the two buildings and recommends a re-review of the proposed landscaping plan for the plaza/courtyard area prior to issuance of any building permits.



PLANNING ACTION: #2005-01834             

DESCRIPTION:  Request for Site Review approval for a three-story, mixed-use building located at 479 Russell Street, comprised of retail and office space on the ground floor, and three residential units on the second and third floors.  The proposed building is approximately 8,090 square feet in size.  The property is located in the Detail Site Review Zone, and is also subject to the Large Scale Development Standards.  Comprehensive Plan Designation: Employment; Zoning E-1-R; Assessorís Map: 39 1E 09 AB; Tax Lot: 6401

OWNER/APPLICANT: Redco Development Co. LLC/Russ Dale & Darren Lecomte


Pritchard noted that she knows Arlen Gregorio socially but stated she still can be impartial with the Planning Action. 


Tom Giordano was present to represent the applicant.  He stated that there are no trees on the site so they are not removing or protecting anything.  There are proposed trees.  Kerry KenCairn, Landscape Architect stated that most of the landscaping has already been done and that the bioswale has been redesigned to relate better to the layout of the building.


Public Testimony:  Surya Bolom, 470 Williamson Way spoke.  Ms. Bolom would like more Bamboo planted behind her house for privacy though she is open to other kinds of vegetation. Itís very important to her to have a landscaping barrier between her and the new building.  Ms. KenCairn recommended that Ms. Bolom ask the Tree Commission to make it a condition of approval.  Ms. KenCairn agreed to meet with Ms. Bolom and discuss the planting.


Arlen Gregorio 474 Williamson Way was present to support Surya Bolom.   Arlen explained that Ms. Bolomís first floor is looking directly up at the parking lot.  The five foot strip she sees is the area that they are talking about that needs screening. 



1) Tree Commission recommends Landscape Architect work with neighbor directly to the North of the site to plant additional screening material along a portion of 470 Williamson Way south property line.



V.            ACTION ITEMS


A.  January dates for Goal Setting.

Holley will begin to track Action Items and email a copy to all the Tree Commissioners.  Amy explained that the Action Items that are discussed at these monthly meetings are things that must be acted upon and cannot be tabled.   


The Tree Commissioners decided that a Sunday would work best for everyoneís schedule.  Holley proposed January 15th, 22nd, or 29th, 2006 and also volunteered his home.  Amy will send out an email to the Commissioners and they can let her know which date works best for them.




A.      Mitigation Trees Ė policies and procedures for off-site mitigation. 

Mitigation Sub-Committee meeting report.

Laurie Sager arrived at 8:30 P.M.  She had recused herself from the prior two Planning Actions because her office is working on them.


Sager handed out a list of mitigation sites for trees that she and Ted Loftus had discussed.  Sager inquired about the Tree Mitigation Fund Account.  Amy explained that the account has been created but there is no money in it.  She also explained that at this time the money is not at the Tree Commissions discretion as to what they can or cannot do with the money.  Amy also said no money can go into the fund until they get the resolution from the City Council. 


It was Sagerís suggestions that if it is determined that a violation has been made an Arborist would assesses the tree.  Any tree cut down between the size of six inches and twelve inches would automatically require mitigation of two new trees at a minimum 2 inch caliper.  The fee would be $350.00 per tree which would cover the installation and guarantee.   Any tree above 12-inches an Arborist would assess the approximate value. 


It was suggested that instead of a determined amount they could charge the average wholesale price of a two inch caliper tree and double the cost and add 10 percent for inflation.  She will work on getting more standardized language about pricing and she and Loftus will put it into writing.   


Sager reported that she had received an email from Adam Hanks stating that Tree Mitigation happens through Conditions of Approval tied to one of three main things. 

1.    The signature of the plat

2.        The issuance of the building permit

3.        The Certificate of Occupancy

One of those items the Tree Commission or Arborist would assess for mitigation and let the applicant know how much the tree will cost and where it will go.


Amy reported regarding the trees in front of Omarís.  The Deboerís have given the money to the Parks Department, the Trees are on order and should be here next week, and the Tree Removal Permit has been filed and approved. 


B.      Tree of the Year criteria

After a discussion the Tree Commissioners decided that the criteria will continue to be

1.    Within City Limits

2.  Visible from the Street

3. Not part of a public park system. 

The commission agreed to remove the word ďFavoriteĒ from the Title.


C.      New Tree planting specifications (diagrams, information)

Sager handed out a planting detail guide that her office uses.  Sager suggested that if they had a good tree planting detail they could give copies to home owners when they come.  She suggested that the Tree Commissioners discuss and come together with a final one and have it.  Holley brought in a brochure that is handed out from their Power Company.  San Antonio region.  Holley would like to see Ashland have something similar to hand out to home owners. He will contact the power company in San Antonio and find out the cost to produce that brochure. Distribute at the front counter.


It was also suggested to reprint the street tree guide.  Amy suggested that we only have 56 copies left of the Street Tree Guide.  Holley would like the Goal setting meeting talk about reprinting the Street Tree Guide.  The last one was not using the Tree Commission money. 





A.       Liaison Reports

             No Liaisons were present


B.      Old Business

Amy shared that the Tree City USA certification is done.

Holley asked that we check with Don regarding the Liberty Street Tree of the Year Plaque and see where he is with it.


C.      New Items

Holley would like Arbor Day put on the January agenda. 


Seiwert brought up for discussion the Ponderosa Pine across from the Beanery.  Employees and customers are parking under the tree.  Steve volunteered to write a draft to the owner of the property educating them about the care of the tree.  He will email the letter to the other Tree Commissioners for review.  It was also suggested to write a letter to the manager of the Beanery to inform him about the damage the employees and customers could be doing by parking under the tree. The Tree Commissioners agreed that not everyone knows they are hurting trees and just need some education regarding them. 


D.      Current Balance



E.  Tree Commission Goals

i.    Education

1.  Daily Tidings Back Page.  Sager suggested that the proposed article on pruning is very broad, complicated and controversial.  She suggested that there could be many unforeseen interpretations and suggested something more simple and easy.  Trees with Winter Interest were a suggestion. It was decided that Sager and January will write the article. They will email it around to the other Commissioners who can then add or subtract from the article.


Streamlining the process:  Sager reminded the Commissioners to be respectful of the deadline for the articles. This will be put on the agenda for the goal setting meeting in January.  The goal is to have it done and turned into Miles at the Daily Tidings by the last day of each month. The articles should be done one week prior to the end of the month.



 ii.          Tree Clinics

Pritchard has a Tree Clinic on pruning scheduled for January 8, 2006 at North Mountain Park. She does need assistance in getting some trees in containers for the class. 


iii.           Monitoring

It was discussed to start a monthly report showing the mitigation results for each Planning Action.  This would help establish criteria for having an Urban Forester showing how often and how much the need is.  It would be part of the Tree Commissions Council report.




Commissioner Jennings adjourned the meeting at 9:40 pm








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