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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 04, 2006



MAY 4, 2006


CALL TO ORDER –Chair Bryan Holley called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. on May 4, 2006 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.


Commissioners Present

Council Liaison

Bryan Holley

David Chapman, absent

Mary Pritchard


Laurie Sager, arrived at 7:50p.m.

Staff Present

Ted Loftus

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

Steve Siewert

Anne Rich, Parks Department


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk







Pritchard/Loftus m/s to approve the minutes of April 6, 2006. Voice vote:  all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of April 6,

2006 were approved as presented.



None present



Re-review of 1651 Ashland St., PA-2005-01673. The Commissioners discussed the landscape plan including the courtyard area. Kerry KenCairn, Landscape Architect, was present to answer questions.


Recommendation - The Tree Commission supports landscaping plan as proposed dated April 24, 2006.



PLANNING ACTION 2006-00366 is a request for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change from Jackson County zoning RR-5 (Rural Residential) to City of Ashland zoning M-1 (Industrial) and E-1 (Employment) for an approximately 8.43-acre parcel located on Jefferson Ave.  The application is to develop a specialty automobile design, research and fabrication and assembly campus in phases.  The application includes a request for the Site Review Approval of the first phase of the project including an industrial building approximately 41,000 square feet in size, parking areas and landscape installation.  The completion of Jefferson Avenue is required to serve the site, and a Physical Constraints Review Permit is required for the design and installation of the Jefferson Ave. crossing of the existing creek running south to north through the property.  An Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards is requested to not include a front entrance directly facing Jefferson Avenue.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove five trees greater than six inches diameter at breast height or greater in the building locations. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Industrial and Employment; ZONING: M-1, E-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 14 A; TAX LOT: 1104.

APPLICANT:  Craig Bramscher


This Planning Action had already been reviewed by the Planning Commission and is being recommended for Annexation to the City Council. Amy read the minutes pertaining to the landscaping plan from the Planning Commission meeting dated April 11, 2006 and the Staff Report from Bill Molnar including conditions.


Applicant Testimony:  Kerry KenCairn, Landscape Architect, was present to represent the applicant.  The current site plan shows the parking lots next to the creek and the buildings where the existing trees are, requiring them to be removed. The applicant is not opposed to turning the building 90 degrees in order to incorporate the trees into the parking lot.  







When planning for the future development of the E-1 zoned building the Tree Commission suggests a review of the health of the Black Oaks and the potential for re-designing the lot layout to preserve the Black Oak trees.


PLANNING ACTION 2006-00453 is a request for Conditional Use Permit and Site Review approval to modify the existing church campus located at 175 N. Main St. by removing two additions and constructing a new narthex, administrative office, classroom wing and addition to Wesley Hall.  The project proposed is in two phases and would include demolition of approximately 5,500 square feet of existing building and constructing approximately 7,100 square feet of new building.  The application includes a Tree Removal Permit to remove four trees six inches diameter at breast height or greater in size.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09 BB; TAX LOT: 2300.

APPLICANT: First United Methodist Church of Ashland


Amy read the staff report and conditions of approval. 


Applicant Testimony:  Agents John Galbraith, Landscape Architect and Certified Arborist along with Jac Nickels 821 Beach St., Design Architect, were present to answer questions.  Seiwert inquired if the applicants had considered a different route for the handicapped ramp so that the Black Locust would not have to be removed.  Mr. Nickels explained that they looked at a lot of different possibilities and taking into consideration the way in which the congregation exits the Church and the grade of the sidewalk, this was the best place for the ramp. 


Holley was concerned that this Planning Action is going forward to the Planning Commission without having walked through some of the provisions that he thinks apply in 18.61. Holley explained that because this is an R-2 property it falls underneath 18.61 and he did not see any finding language that went through all the parts of 18.61.  He felt that the narrative he read only seemed to focus on the Site Design and Use Standard.


Amy explained that the applicants did address the criteria for approval for the tree removal and they addressed the tree protection through their map.  Amy gave the example that though the entire Site Design and Use Standards section of the ordinance 18.72 applies to the project there are only three criteria for approval that were called out and addressed with written findings. In a similar manner the Tree Ordinance 18.61 applies but they only have to address the Tree Removal criteria.  The applicants are not required to address what “potential conditions of approval are.”  Amy explained that the conditions of approval section apply to Staff and Commissions, letting the applicant know that they may set conditions of approval.


Sager confirmed that what Holley was concerned about was if the applicants looked at ways to avoid removing the significant trees.    Mr. Nickels explained that they spent an entire day with the congregation going through all the different possible configurations of the buildings. Sager suggested that the applicants address the ordinance by a narrative explaining what process they went through and why this would be the best configuration for the entire site.  Sager commented that if there is a better solution that would save the trees they would like to do that acknowledging that saving the trees and building around them could also impact the trees.


Public Testimony: Robin Foster, 63 Bush St. Ashland spoke.  Mr. Foster, with the Church’s permission, has taken care of four trees on the Church’s Lot which extend over onto his property. He acknowledged his appreciation that those trees are marked to be preserved with this project and is glad to see more landscaping planned since the parking lot is useful but not terribly beautifully.  He requested that the Church do a better job with the maintenance of the landscaping and would like to see a condition added that the landscaping will be maintained. He would like it if any trees of other part of the landscaping die or is vandalized that the Church takes responsibility to replace them.


Sager stated that part of the applicants findings talk about the requirements for landscaping over time.  Sager commented that because it is fairly difficult to monitor landscapes over a 5 year period there is somewhat of an issue with holding applicants to these standards, however these applicants are agreeing to them in this application.  She felt confident that if a citizen noted that something was dying or not meeting the conditions, the City should be able to enforce the reestablishment of the plants. 


Applicant Rebuttal:  Mr. Nichols told Mr. Foster that they have every intention of maintaining the landscaping.  Their intent is to improve the landscaping and be good neighbors. 



1)Tree Commission recommends that the parking lot center median be enlarged from five (5) feet to seven (7) feet in width in the areas adjacent to the proposed trees by adding Compact vehicle spaces.


2) Tree Commission recommends using three (3) large stature trees with greater canopy coverage instead of five (5) smaller stature trees as proposed for the center median in the parking lot.


3) Tree Commission recommends protecting the trees in the parking lot center median by installing bollards or other protective measures to prevent vehicular damage.


4)Tree Commission recommends the applicant address 18.61.094 regarding the placement of the building in the manner proposed and how other layout options were discussed and the decision rendered to place the building as such and the resulting tree removal.



Commission Powers and Duties (Chapman):  It was decided to table this discussion until the June meeting when Commissioner Chapman can be present.  Holley would like the Commissioners to look at items A through I between now and the June meeting.



Liaison Reports - Rich distributed a Memo from Donn Todt regarding the growth rate of certain trees.  After reviewing the memo the Commissioners recommended removing the Pistacia Chinensis from the Lithia Way Street Tree list. 



New tree planting & pruning specifications - Sager requested this topic to be tabled until next month’s Agenda.     Sager will again send the planting specification to the Commissioners for their review.


Mitigation Sub-Committee Report - No report.



Site Visits – declaring site visits at meeting.  It was decided that it is very important to participate in a site visit and to declare site visits at the monthly meetings. 


Tree Grates – options other than metal.  Sager would like to see an alternative choice to the metal grates because the ring is difficult to enlarge. Sager suggested using recycled material and would like the Commission to come up with a standard for the downtown area that the Parks Department could use as well.   The Commissioners agreed to do research on this and bring back their ideas. 


Land Use Ordinance Review (Siegel Report) – The Commissioners will review for correction and offer advice. 


Current Balance - $164.87


Tree Clinics – None scheduled at this time


Tree Walks – Very successful, will schedule future ones.


Media Outreach – Agreed it was time to do a sign up schedule for future articles in order to share the responsibilities.


At this time the Ginkgo Tree is leading the vote for the replacement of the Ailanthus Tree.  It was decided to keep the voting open until July 4, 2006.  Will send a news release to the Daily Tidings.


ADJOURNMENT  - Commissioner Holley adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk





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