MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 16, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
|CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Jackson arrived at 7:05 p.m. Councilor Hartzell arrived at 7:55 p.m.
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Regular Council Meeting Minutes of May 2, 2006 were approved with the following amendment to page 1 under Consent Agenda discussion, "It was clarified that a list of how long appointed members have served is included in the packet materials and the process used by the Mayor is unchanged to what was used before".
|SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor's proclamation of May 21-27, 2006 as "National Historic Preservation Week" was read aloud.
Mayor Morrison noted the 2006 Ragland Award was presented to Melissa Mitchell Hooge prior to the Council Meeting.
|Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
|Liquor License Application - Helena Darling Catering.
|Appointment to Audit Committee.
|Appointment to Ashland Community Healthcare Services Board of Directors.
|Approval of Public Contract Greater than $75,000 - 1/10 Primary Aluminum Wire.
|Report on Plaza repairs.
|Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Ronald Goodpastor as Interim Police Chief.
|Councilor Silbiger requested Item #3 be pulled; Councilor Jackson request Item #4 be pulled; and Councilor Hardesty requested Item #7 be pulled from the Consent Agenda.
Councilor Amarotico/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1, #2, #5, and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion Passed.
Mayor Morrison noted that Councilor Hartzell would be arriving late and moved Item #7 to New and Miscellaneous Business so that she could participate in the discussion.
Councilor Silbiger clarified the appointment to the Audit Committee is done by the Council, not the Mayor.
Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to appoint Greg Lemhouse to the Audit Committee. DISCUSSION: Mayor Morrison agreed with Councilor Silbiger and stated that state law dictates this appointment be made by Council. Voice Vote: All AYES.
Councilor Jackson commented on the process for appointing Hospital Board members. She stated the Hospital Board submitted recommendations; however it is the Council's responsibility to select the members and noted there is criteria listed in the City Charter. She suggested they accept the Board's recommendations, but asked that they be informed of how many applications the Board considered. Mayor Morrison stated this information is available from the Hospital Board and clarified the correct process was followed by the Board.
Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the Ashland Community Healthcare Services recommended appointments. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion Passed.
|Public Hearing and First Reading of a Resolution Authorizing and Ordering Improvements to Plaza Avenue Under the Plaza Avenue Local Improvement District No. 85.
Public Hearing Open: 7:10 p.m.
Mr. Olson addressed the concerns raised by the residents. Some of the property owners have stated they prefer the rural atmosphere of the unpaved street, however Mr. Olson stated this is an urban community and the City cannot afford to maintain this ambiance forever due to environmental and maintenance costs. Other concerns included a lack of benefit to the property and increased safety concerns. Some residents fear the paved street would lead to increased traffic speeds, however staff has found the opposite to be true.
Mr. Olson clarified for Council the right of way width is 40 ft; that Plaza Avenue is mapped as a street, not an alley; and sidewalks would be installed on one side only.
Those Wishing to Provide Testimony
Inge Christ/1016 Plaza Avenue/Voiced her support for the LID and shared her concerns regarding air pollution, dust, and the potential health risks to residents. She stated the residents on Plaza Avenue have paid for dust abatement services through a private contractor for many years and stated this money could have been put towards a permanent solution. She stated the LID would eliminate the dust pollution, installs basic road and safety measures and would reduce the maintenance costs to the City and property owners.
Allen Alsing/970 Walker Avenue/Owns the property at 1040 Plaza Avenue and explained that over the last 40 years the residents have tried many times to obtain the necessary signatures to get this street improved. He stated that Plaza Avenue is surrounded by paved streets and noted the City's policy to pave all unpaved roads. Mr. Alsing explained this project would benefit both the residents and the City by reducing dust and particulates in the air, cutting down on mud in the wintertime, stopping the erosion of granite and doing away with the dust oil the homeowners have to put down. He stated he has waited a long time for this project and asked that the Council proceed with the LID.
Joy Light/980 Park Street/Explained she was required to sign a no remonstrance agreement when she received a Conditional Use Permit from the City, and her name appears on the petition for this improvement, however she is not in favor. She stated the resin spray addresses the dust issue and rain naturally keeps the dust down. She stated she prefers Plaza Avenue the way it is and stated it provides a cooler atmosphere.
Glenda Feinsmith/998 Plaza Avenue/Explained when she first moved in she liked the quaint atmosphere of the dirt road, however she has since developed eye and breathing issues because of the dust. She commented on the issue of mud in the wintertime, stated the discomfort of living is substantial, and asked that the road be paved.
John Christ/992 Plaza Avenue/Stated that Plaza Avenue is considered a back road by the residents whose homes face Park and because of this they have no interest to improve Plaza. He explained it has been difficult for the proponents of this project to gain the required signatures and requested Council move forward with forming the LID. He added this would take a step towards the City's goal to eliminate all unpaved streets.
Suzanne Cruce/1030 Park Street/Voiced her objections to the proposed improvements and stated this project would decrease her property value and decrease safety. She stated she is against the paving and sidewalk proposal and urged the Council to complete the study of the LID process and to find a less costly and environmentally damaging alternative for dust control.
Steve Eadie/1050 Park Street/Noted the grade difference between his driveway and the alley and expressed concern about the usability of his access if this is paved. He stated he prefers the dirt road and acknowledged the dust issue, but feels there are other ways to address this problem aside from paving. He also stated this would not be a benefit to his property.
Elaine Gilmartin/1054 Plaza Avenue/Commented on the long-term impacts the improvements would have on the environment. She stated the main issue with the dirt road is the dust, however the residents have been able to deal with this on their own and there are alternatives to paving that would solve the problem in a more thrifty and sustainable way. She stated that paving heats the environment and the fiscal impact of this LID would be a real burden to some of the property owners.
Jared Cruce/1030 Park Street/Stated this project contradicts the Historic Preservation Proclamation presented tonight and noted the majority of the residents do not support this LID. He asked that the LID evaluation be completed and commented on the division this has caused in the neighborhood. Mr. Cruce stated the improvements would not be financially beneficial to his property and explained that he purchased his property because of the quaint feel. He stated the dust affects a small minority of the property owners however this issue could be solved in other ways and requested the Council not accept this proposal.
Peter Dragula & Patricia Aguinaga/1024 Park Street/Mayor Morrison read aloud the letter submitted to the Council, which voiced objections to the LID.
Mayor Morrison noted that written testimony was also received from: Michael & Margaret Gerrard/1060 Park Street/*Written testimony was submitted into the public record.
Councilor Hartzell arrived at 7:55 p.m.
Peter Berney/1070 Plaza/Stated the alley creates an enormous amount of dust and noted the issue of mud in the wintertime. Mr. Berney voiced his support for the LID and asked the Council to proceed with this project.
Art Bullock/791 Glendower/Submitted written materials to the Council and explained that he had surveyed the neighborhood and the information submitted shows the results of that survey. He stated he was able to contact all of the property owners and 11 of the 16 object to the LID. He explained this constitutes an official remonstrance and prevents the Council from taking a vote. He stated the owners would like the dust problem solved, but do not feel this LID is the best way to solve this issue.
Thomas Knudsen/1044 Park Street/Mayor Morrison read aloud the letter submitted to the Council, which voiced objections to the LID.
Public Hearing Closed: 8:05 p.m.
City Attorney Mike Franell asked to examine the documents submitted by Mr. Bullock.
Mr. Olson clarified the maximum cost per unit is capped at $4,911. In regards to Mr. Eadie's concern, he clarified the design would match the driveway to the paved street and they would excavate if necessary.
Abstentions, Conflicts of Interest, Ex Parte Contact
Councilor Hartzell questioned if coming in late would disallow her participation in this decision. Mr. Franell stated it might not be necessary to make that determination and requested time to review Mr. Bullock's documents.
It was questioned if concrete could be used instead of asphalt. Mr. Olson stated that this has never been done before and explained concrete would be expensive and difficult to maintain.
Mr. Olson clarified in the event the project costs exceed the estimate, the property owners could not be assessed an additional 10% because of the cap.
Mr. Franell completed his review of the submitted materials and explained that more than 2/3 of the property owners have objected to the LID and this constitutes a legal remonstrance. He said pursuant to the Ashland Municipal Code the Council cannot move forward with this LID for at least six months. Mr. Franell provided an explanation of how he determined this to be an effective remonstrance and suggested the Council move on to the next agenda item. He also clarified that Ashland Municipal Code 13.20.050(c) allows for a property owner to remonstrate against the LID, even if they had previously signed an agreement waiving their right to remonstrate against improvements.
|Public Hearing Regarding Planning Action 2006-00366 - 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 at the southern terminus of Jefferson Avenue, immediately north of the railroad tracks and west of Interstate 5.
|Mayor Morrison read aloud the public hearing procedure for land use hearings.
Public Hearing Open: 8:40 p.m.
Abstentions, Conflicts of Interest, Ex Parte Contact
Councilor Hartzell noted several months ago she had a conservation with former City Administrator Gino Grimaldi regarding a possible OECDD grant.
It was clarified the Council previously voted to support the City's application on Mr. Bramscher's behalf to receive grant funds from OECDD.
Mayor Morrison stated he had visited the current location of Brammo Motor Sports and talked with Mr. Bramscher, however this visit would not affect his ability to remain unbiased.
Mr. Molnar explained all city facilities are available, are a logical extension along Jefferson Avenue, and stated Jefferson would be improved to City street standards. He noted the street width would be reduced where it crosses the creek and riparian area, and rather that culverting the creek, a bottomless crossing design would be used. Mr. Molnar stated the Planning Commission found by an 8-to-1 vote that the application met the land use approval criteria for annexation and staff recommends the Council approve the request for annexation. Mr. Molnar submitted four additional conditions from staff and recommended they be included if the Council chooses to approve this request.
Mr. Molnar clarified the Applicant considered the proposed changes to the Riparian Ordinance in their design and are proposing a 20 ft. buffer from the creek bank and a bottomless design for the crossing in order to maintain the natural creek bed. Mr. Molnar stated the crossing design would withstand a 100-year flood and noted the Applicant has identified approximately 30 trees to add to the riparian area.
Gary Caperna/Batzer Design/Explained that he is part of the design team for this project and stated the design would alleviate the circulation problems on Jefferson Avenue. He added this project seems like an obvious addition to the City.
Mr. Bramsher noted he supports the four additional conditions proposed by staff.
Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to extend public hearing to 9:30 p.m.
Those Wishing to Provide Testimony
Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Voiced his support for this request and stated the technical intelligence of the community will be benefited from this project. He stated this would be a wonderful asset to the community and commented on the work habits and work environment of this company. Mr. Kay voiced his support for the Brammo proposal and stated he sees no reason not to approve it.
Public Hearing Closed: 9:10 p.m.
Councilor Chapman requested a formal way to evaluate the cost/benefit analysis for annexations; however stated in this case it is clear this is a benefit to the City.
Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to approve the request for Annexation, Zone Change and withdrawal from Jackson County Rural Fire District 5 of an approximately 8.43-acre parcel located at the southern terminus of Jefferson Avenue, immediately north of the railroad tracks and west of Interstate 5; with the additional conditions proposed by the staff. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion Passed.
Ambuja Rosen/Commented on a possible tethering ordinance and asked that the City adopt an ordinance of their own. She provided a recap of what she discussed at the previous Council meetings and shared an experience she had with a chained animal at Emigrant Lake. She stated that chained dogs are a blight on Ashland's landscape and explained why she is campaigning for this ordinance.
Bill Emerson/90 Fifth Street/Requested he be given time on a future agenda to discuss the Downtown Plaza Area Plan and items that were not completed. He stated that only a portion of the design was implemented and many problems the City now faces regarding the Plaza area are a result of this not being completed.
Mayor Morrison suggested that Mr. Emerson contact him to discuss his request.
Tracy Harding/334 Bridge Street/Commented on the success of the Bike Swap and noted the money raised would be used for bicycle education. She suggested the Ashland Police Department consider having more officers on bicycles and commented on the Walking Wednesday program at Walker Elementary.
|NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
|Interim Police Chief Contract.
Councilor Hardesty stated he would have preferred to have been provided with more information.
Mayor Morrison commented on the process and explained that a selection committee, which included two councilors, was formed and interviewed the three candidates for interim police chief. He stated the City needs to have an interim chief in place while the search for the permanent replacement is conducted. Mayor Morrison explained why Mr. Goodpastor was selected and commented on his experience as a successful chief and the community-policing program he established in Tigard.
Councilor Hartzell voiced her concern with the lack of clear direction from the Council on where the Police Department needs to be headed. She requested strong communication on behalf of the Mayor regarding a plan and a timeline for how to move forward with hiring a permanent police chief and expressed her interest in participating in this process. She also requested that the Mayor not accept Mr. Goodpastor's offer to assist in selecting the permanent replacement.
Mayor Morrison clarified that both Councilor Hartzell and Silbiger were part of the selection committee, and stated this process was done openly. He explained why Mr. Goodpastor was the best fit of the three and requested Councils approval of this appointment. He added the City would have an open process involving the community for selecting the permanent replacement.
Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to accept the recommendation of the Selection Committee to appoint Ronald Goodpastor as Interim Police Chief. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell briefly commented on her request for open communication as this issue moves forward. Mayor Morrison clarified that candidate resumes are confidential, but are always available for viewing by the Council through the Personnel Department. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion Passed 5-1.
|Mr. Tuneberg commented on the items remaining on the agenda and the amount of time left in the meeting.
|Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2006-00069 - Rear Yard Variance for the Property Located at 758 B Street.
Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained this is the adoption of the findings for the Council's denial of a rear yard variance for the property located at 758 B Street, applicant Philip Lang. He noted the Public Hearing was held on April 18, 2006 and additional deliberations on May 2, 2006 where the Council found the application did not meet the approval criteria for the variance. Staff recommends the Council adopt the findings are presented.
Councilor Amarotico requested he be allowed to abstain from voting on the Findings, since he did not vote on the planning action.
Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to allow Councilor Amarotico to abstain from the vote. Voice Vote: Councilor Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hardesty, NO. Councilor Hartzell was out of the room. Motion Passed 3-1.
Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to adopt the Findings for Planning Action 2006-00069. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hardesty, NO. Councilor Amarotico, Abstained. Motion Passed 4-1.
|ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
|Reading by title only of, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Business Licenses Amending Chapter 6.04 Sections 6.04.080, 6.04.090, 6.04.120 and 6.04.130".
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained this is an update to the ordinance for business licenses. He requested Council's approval and stated this amendment would provide sufficient funds to cover the work that is being done and would also provide continuing information on employment statistics.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified the City uses an honor system regarding the employee counts listed by businesses. He stated the City does not have enough staff to go out and perform audits, however they are considering utilizing the audit firm to do samplings. He clarified the amendment would help to cover the City's costs of administering the program and stated the inherent purpose of the program is to regulate business within the community.
Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Chapman, Silbiger, YES. Councilor Jackson was out of the room. Motion Passed 5-0.
|Reading by title only of, "A Resolution Authorizing the Amendment of the Fire Protection Plans Review and Inspection Fee Schedule Adopted by Resolution 05-30".
City Attorney Mike Franell explained that in reviewing the codes, staff recognized the current ALUO has the partition section in a separate section from subdivisions, and staff has brought forward this resolution to add the review of partition plats as something that a fire review fee can be administered on. Mr. Franell noted a correction that needed to be made to the proposed resolution, and stated it is missing Section 2, which would read "This resolution shall be effective upon signing by the Mayor." Staffs recommendation is to adopt the resolution as amended.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to adopt Resolution #2006-09 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion Passed 6-0.
|Authorization to Dispose of Surplus Property in Excess of $10,000.
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg noted this item was postponed at the last Council Meeting due to time constraints. He explained the requirement that states if the property has a residual value greater than $10,000, the City Council's authorization is required. Mr. Tuneberg noted the total value of this surplus property is just under that amount and requested Council's approval to dispose of the surplus property.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified the items listed as "miscellaneous computer equipment" do not have much value and would require repairs to get them in working order. Several suggestions were made regarding the disposal of the computer equipment, including donating it to the Senior Program or hurricane stricken areas, or giving it to a recycling firm in Phoenix.
Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve the disposal of surplus property. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion Passed.
|NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (Cont.)
|ALUO 18.68.050 Interpretation.
City Attorney Mike Franell explained this issue arose when a proposed project in the downtown area took advantage of a peculiarity in the code regarding setbacks. He explained 18.68.050 provides for a special setback along arterials and divides the arterials into two categories. For the two named arterials (East Main Street between City limits and Lithia Way, and Ashland Street between City limits and Siskiyou Boulevard), there is a setback that is provided from the centerline of the road in which a person cannot build. All the other arterials fall under a second category and the code states front yards for properties abutting all arterial streets shall be no less than 20 ft. with the exception of C-1-D district.
Mr. Franell commented on the definition of "front yard" and stated 18.08.420 provides that in the case of an interior lot, the lot line separating the lot from the street other than an alley is the front yard. A corner lot shall have one street line considered the front lot line and the narrower street frontage shall be the front lot line expect when the Staff Advisor determines topographical or access problems make such a designation impractical. Mr. Franell explained there is the provision for the Staff Advisor to make an exception if they determine topographical or access problems exist, however the code does not indicate whether the "access problem" is vehicular or pedestrian. He noted the Transportation System Plan indicates that vehicular access should be on the lesser traveled road where possible.
Mr. Franell clarified for Council they are not making an interpretation specifically to the parcel mentioned above; the interpretation would be applicable to all properties that fall under this section of the code. He commented that LUBA would likely determine there was an intent for using the term "front yard" when talking about the non-named arterials as this term is not used in the named arterials. Mr. Franell stated if the current language does not accomplish the intent of the Council, they should direct staff to prepare an ordinance amendment that would accomplish the intent.
Comment was made that the yard facing the arterial should be considered the front yard. Mr. Franell stated this could be, although the natural reading of the ordinance does not lend itself to this conclusion. Mr. Franell noted if an application came in before changes are made, they would have to interpret what the ordinance currently means. He also clarified for Council that Option 3 listed under potential motions in the Council Communication would address the issue; however Council would need to clarify whether the interpretation refers to commercial properties, residential properties, or all properties.
Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m.
Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Shared his concern of an application coming through before this issue is resolved. He commented on the varying sidewalk widths along Lithia Way and how this area is substandard. Mr. Swales noted the recommendations contained in the Siegel Report regarding Lithia Way and stated it would be fair to future development projects if this were made clear.
Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 S/Stated the real question is what should happen on the north side of Lithia Way. Mr. Roth questioned why this language does not apply to old buildings (such as the Post Office) and why the new Fire Station does not have a 20 ft. setback. He offered his suggestion that Lithia Way should not have a setback.
John Fields/845 Oak Street/Commented on the difficulty in answering this issue and stated that piece meal decisions can create conflict and further complicate the issue. He stated the language is better being unclear and stated this was an irresolvable decision. He stated the Council could make the language consistent, but does not believe this would satisfy the 1988 Downtown Plan.
Council discussed their options and comment was made voicing support for making an interpretation so this problem does not arise in the downtown area again. Comment was made noting that modifying the ordinance would take longer than making an interpretation. Statement was made that following Option 3 would reinforce the intent of the language until an ordinance change could be made.
Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s that the Council interpret ALUO 18.08.420 is referring to pedestrian access for all properties when the property is on a corner lot with one street being an arterial and that consistent with downtown designs standards all corner lots in the downtown overlay area which sit adjacent to an arterial street shall have the front lot line along the arterial street. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell noted that "and" is included in the motion and feels this effectively separates the two statements. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Jackson and Chapman, NO. Motion Passed 4-2.
Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to continue this meeting to Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the Downtown Plan Update and the Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss the Proposal for Park Maintenance of School District Playgrounds. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell noted both items are budget related and would like to address them prior to the Budget Committee meeting. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion Passed.
|Downtown Plan - Phase 1 Council Update.
Continued to May 18, 2006 Council Meeting.
|OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
|Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss proposal for Park maintenance of School District Playgrounds.
Continued to May 18, 2006 Council Meeting.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor