Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August 1, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger were present. Councilor Chapman was absent.
The minutes of the Executive Session Meeting of July 18, 2006 and the Annual Hospital Board/Council Meeting of July 18, 2006 were approved as presented.

It was requested that the Regular Council Meeting minutes of July 18, 2006 be approved with the following amendments:

1) Include Councilor Hartzell's question on how the Airport Master Plan addresses growth management,
2) Include a summary of the statement submitted by Tom Dimitre,
3) Correct wording to read "prescriptive easements" on page 6, under Request from Councilor Hartzell to Discuss Railroad Clean-up,
4) Include the request for staff to send DEQ a letter providing input on the Storm Water Permit, and
5) Include the header "Other Business from Council" at the top of page 7.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Appointment to Tree Commission.
3. Appointment to Planning Commission.
4. Approval of Grant Distribution Greater than $75,000 for Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Councilor Hartzell requested Item #4 be pulled for discussion.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1-#3. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion Passed 4-1.

Councilor Hartzell requested the recording requirements for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Chamber of Commerce be the same as those for the other grantees.

Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg clarified the smaller grantees identify how they intend to use the funds in their application, and based on this information, a grant amount is determined. He stated the Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival grants differ in that the City's resolution identifies how much money each organization will be awarded and at the end of the year, they are required to submit a report detailing how the grant money was used.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda Item #4. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

Sally Evans/62 Dewey Street/Spoke regarding the amended Charter language on water rights and commented on the importance of water and the need to protect the City's good drinking water.

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Shared his concerns with the Charter review process and requested extended public hearings, discussion, and education on the proposed new provisions.

Helga Motley/231 Gresham Street/Stated the proposed revision to the water rights language is ambiguous and provides a loophole to export and sell City water. Ms. Motley asked for the Charter language to be very clear on this issue and requested the City extend this process to allow for public input.

Mori Ink/Voiced support for the Ashland Constitution group and stated it is the Council's obligation to ensure the City's water rights are protected. Ms. Ink requested the Council not place the revised Charter on the November ballot and recommended they ask the City Attorney to provide clearer language.

Art Bullock/Requested the Council: 1) place the video links to the Charter Review Committee meetings on the City's website, 2) not approve the water as a commodity language proposed by the City Attorney which creates a new loophole, 3) hold a public hearing on the water powers language, and 4) not place this version of the Charter on the November ballot and instead postpone to a special election.

Nick Frost/224 N Third Street/Spoke regarding water rights and stated the loopholes need to be closed. He stated this subject requires input from the citizens and stated it would be a travesty to ignore the fact that this is important to many citizens.

Wes Brain/298 Garfield/Spoke regarding water issues and the language proposed in the Charter. He requested a public forum be held to discuss the proposed language and encouraged Council to consider the alternative language proposed by the Ashland Constitution group. Mr. Brain also requested the Council not place the Charter on the November ballot.

Nina Council/Requested the Council hold a public forum and stated she does not support the proposed water language.

Terry Nelsen/Stated the revised Charter is a long way from being ready for the voters and noted that the Charter Review Committee had recommended a separate panel be formed to address the water issue. Mr. Nelsen shared his concerns with the phrase "principal commodity" and stated this wording creates enormous loopholes.

City Recorder Barbara Christensen clarified the Charter Review Meeting videos are available through her office. She stated the online video links were removed from the City's website because RVTV had taken the videos off their server and the links were no longer working.

Ambuja Rosen/Requested the City adopt an ordinance prohibiting prolonged tethering of animals and asked that two councilors bring this forward for consideration.

Mayor Morrison clarified it only takes one councilor to place an item on the Council agenda.

Bill Little/80 High Oak Street, Medford/President of Mt. Ashland Association/Commented on the Mt. Ashland ski area expansion and clarified the expansion was approved in 1991. He stated at this point they are waiting for resolution of two legal lawsuits that were filed in an attempt to stop the expansion. Mr. Little stated they have no definite plans to move forward with the clearing of terrain; and, should they receive a favorable ruling, there will still be adequate time for the plaintiffs to appeal the decision. Mr. Little assured the Council that MAA would speak with them before moving forward with any expansion plans.

Carola Lacy/140 Third Street/Commented on the Mt. Ashland expansion and stated she does not live to ski, but must have water to live. Ms. Lacy suggested the Council utilize its authority to make a decision on this issue, rather than going through several years of appeals, and asked that they act on the citizen's best interests.

Melissa Mitchell-Hooge/271 High Street/President of "Save our Schools and Playgrounds"/Provided a report on the community forum on workforce housing that was held on May 4, 2006. Ms. Mitchell-Hooge requested the Council: 1) promote the revision of the code to encourage higher density, smaller lots and smaller houses, 2) support the creation of a local housing trust fund, and 3) help support an education and awareness campaign.

1. Lithia Lot Development, Kendrick Enterprises Negotiations.
Housing Program Specialist Brandon Goldman presented the staff report and clarified Council had previously directed staff to enter into discussions with Kendrick Enterprises to refine their proposal for the development of the Lithia Lot. Mr. Goldman noted this has been an ongoing project and commented on the changes that have occurred since this proposal was last presented to the Council. He clarified:
• All ten affordable units will be targeted to 60% area median income or less,
• The proposal includes three condominium market rate units, which will assist in offsetting the development costs of the affordable housing components,
• The proposal includes sixteen underground parking spaces. Four spaces for the affordable units, three spaces for the market rate housing, and nine spaces in addition to the one on-street parking space will be available for public parking,
• There will be a minimum 60-year affordability period. At the conclusion of this period the commercial component will revert to the City, and
• The market rate units will be sold at the onset of their development and not revert to the City.

Mr. Goldman clarified the estimated value of the property with the parking encumbrances is $220,000 and stated if the City were to sell the property with no restrictions the value would be approximately $490,000. He noted that Bob Kendrick of Kendrick Enterprises and Mary Hart of Access, Inc. were available for Council's questions and requested approval of the proposal as presented and for Council to direct staff to draft a lease agreement with Kendrick Enterprises.

City Attorney Mike Franell commented the restrictions for negotiating and clarified as long as the nature of the project remains constant, there are no restrictions on negotiating changes.

Councilor Hardesty questioned if the changes in cost have gone up due to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry's (BOLI) prevailing wage and suggested the possibility of the commercial component reverting to Access, Inc. as a means to reduce these costs. She also suggested the three market rate units have a stipulation that they be occupied for at least 11 months out of the year.

Mary Hart addressed the Council and explained how this project moved from the Ashland Community Land Trust to Access, Inc. She stated Access has a different area of expertise and due to the complexity of this project, it was determined that Access was the better fit.

Mr. Goldman clarified if Council decided to start over with this project, it would likely be another year before staff could be back at the table with a viable project. He also noted the 2002 Housing Needs Analysis identifies studios as the most in demand rental type within Ashland with close to a 0% vacancy rate.

It was questioned if Council would be able to re-negotiate with the other bidders if this project was not approved. Mr. Franell noted his uncertainty as to whether this project fell under the public contracting requirements due to it not being operated by the City and because certain components will never be owned by the City. He stated if it is determined this project does not fall under the public contracting rules, the City could look at the other proposals that were brought forward.

Colin Swales/461 Allison Street/Expressed his concern with the three market rate units being used for travel accommodations and noted a recent appeal that came before Council for a similar situation. He commented on the value of this property to the City and noted the zoning allows the structure to have a height of 55 feet. Mr. Swales stated there are more creative options for this site and suggested the proposal be sent back to the drawing board.

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Commented on affordable housing tax credits and the need for a housing authority. He stated the private sector was not the answer and could not provide what the City needs and offered his assistance on addressing this issue.

Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99 S/Encouraged the Council to accept staff's recommendation and move forward with this project. He commented on the process and voiced his objections to going back to the drawing board at this point. Mr. Roth stated this project would replace some of the small studio units that have been lost to commercial development and hopes this will be the first of other affordable housing units built on publicly owned property.

Mr. Kendrick responded to the public testimony and stated that state law restricted creativity and noted there are code requirements which need to be met. He stated a structure that was the maximum allowed height would not have enabled them to add any more units and clarified the market rate condominiums will be exactly the same size and quality of the affordable units. He noted the amount of money he has invested in this project and stated the 60-year term is necessary in order to have a return on this investment.

Council discussed whether to approve staff's recommendation. Councilor Jackson voiced support for moving forward, however objects to the three market rate units being used as travel accommodations. Councilor Hardesty objected to the market rate units being used as travel accommodations and requested these units be occupied at least 11 months out of the year. She also questioned if the costs could be reduced by having the commercial component revert to Access, Inc. Councilor Silbiger voiced objections to the units use as travelers accommodations and stated he is open to negotiate what will happen with the commercial component after the term is up. Councilor Hartzell voiced her concerns to the proposal, including the parking issue, the ratio of commercial to residential in the downtown area, and the term of the lease.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve the conceptual plan and proposal and direct staff todraft a lease agreement for the property that would allow the project to proceed through the planning application phase and to present the lease agreement to Council for final approval with the pre-stipulations that travelers accommodations not be allowed, that they consider full time occupancy as a requirement, and that they consider Councilor Hardesty's suggestion for the commercial area to revert to Access at the end of the term. DISCUSSION: City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified the City could not get a BOLI determination until there is a lease, however if it is determined they do not have to pay the BOLI prevailing wage, staff would look at putting the extra money towards a shorter commercial lease or lower rents, or a combination of the two. Comment was made that should the City do another project like this, they should set a limit on how much profit they would allow. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Hardesty, Jackson, Silbiger, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

1. Second Reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (Cochran Annexation, 380 Clay Street)."

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Ordinance #2928. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Hardesty, Hartzell, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

2. First Reading by title only of, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 15.04 (Building and Construction) Section 1504.214 and Section 15.04.216 Relating to the Approval Process and Demolition and Relocation Standards of the Ashland Municipal Code."
City Building Official and Staff Liaison to the Demolition Review Committee & Appeals Board, Mike Broomfield, presented the staff report. He explained the Demolition Review Committee has struggled with the demolition and relocation standards for buildings over 45 years of age, specifically the demostration of the re-use and definition of an economically beneficial use. Mr. Broomfield stated the Committee requested changes be made to the language and the proposed Ordinance incorporates those changes.

Mr. Broomfield clarified for Council the definition of dangerous buildings is found in the 2003 International Residential Codes, the Oregon Residential Specialty Code, and the 2003 International Building Code. He stated a dangerous building has 17 potential criteria, however mold is not one of those criteria.

Mr. Broomfield noted the ordinance adds time to the process to allow for the Historic Commission to be more involved in the process. Council commented on this section of the proposed ordinance and it was requested that the ordinance be amended to more clearly state what the Historic Commission will do. Mayor Morrison agreed that the sentiment is correct, however the current wording is too vague. Councilor Hartzell also requested staff look into whether the Historic Commission can have any authority in regards to demolition applications.

It was clarified staff would make the requested changes to the ordinance and bring it back for first reading.

3. First Reading by title only of, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Adoption of the 2004 Oregon Fire Code."
City Building Official Mike Broomfield explained that recent changes to AMC Section 15.04 inadvertently deleted changes that were made to the Fire Code, which was adopted by the Council in December 2005. He stated the adoption of this ordinance would correct this error.

Councilor Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger, Amarotico and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

4. Reading by title only of, "A Resolution Adopting Grading Plan Review and Grading Permit Fee Schedule in Accordance with the 2003 International Building Code, as Adopted in Ashland Municipal Code, Section 15.04.010(B)(2)."
City Building Official Mike Broomfield stated this resolution provides a fee schedule to the previously adopted grading ordinance. He noted there may be additional fees that apply based on the level of review that occurs.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #2006-19. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Amarotico, Hardesty, Jackson and Hartzell, YES. Motion passed.

5. Reading by title only of, "A Resolution Amending Resolution No. 2006-16 Clarifying Conditions of Employment for Management and Confidential Employees for Fiscal Year 2006-2007."
Human Resource Manager Tina Gray presented the staff report on the proposed resolution. She noted at the Council's June 28, 2006 meeting the Council adopted a resolution contingent on a language change for Section 14.2. She stated the alternate language is included in the packet materials and ties the management resolution to the language in the Ashland Municipal Code and gives the City Administrator authority to set and amend the salary schedule.

Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2006-20. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Hardesty, Amarotico and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 9:52 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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