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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, September 07, 2006



September 7, 2006


CALL TO ORDER ĖChair Bryan Holley called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. on July 6, 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, arrived at 7:08

Mary Pritchard


Laurie Sager

Staff Present

Ted Loftus

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

Steve Siewert

Anne Rich, Parks Department, arrived at 7:10

Colin Guiley

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



Loftus/Pritchard m/s to approve the minutes of July 6, 2006. Voice vote:  all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of July 6, 2006 were approved as presented.


Pritchard/Sager m/s to approve the minutes of August 3, 2006. Voice vote:  all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of August 3, 2006 were approved as presented.


Regarding last months Planning Action #2005-01869, 1751 Dragonfly. Sager reported that Mrs. George contacted Mark Knox at Urban Development Services requesting his help to get approval on the lot split. 



Jonathan Frank shared his interest in the operations of the Tree Commission and his interest in how the City is paying attention to the native oak species. Mr. Frank said that in order to maintain a healthy community it is necessary to have native trees, he especially is interested in the Oregon White Oak. 


Tracy Harding from the Bike and Pedestrian Commission was present to discuss the upcoming Car Free Day on September 22, 2006.  The Bike and Ped Commission decided to have the Tree Walk Tour before the events on Oak Street in hopes that more people will attend. She requested that one or more of the Tree Commissioners do a walking tour in the downtown area sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Pritchard needed to check her calendar but if she is available would be willing to do the tour.   The Commissioners will email Tracy and let her know which one of them will do the walk.  Loftus volunteered to bring trees and plants to the event again this year. 



PLANNING ACTION 2006-01091 Outline Plan approval under the Performance Standards Options Chapter 18.88 to subdivide the property into 14 lots including 13 lots for single-family homes and one lot for open space purposes for the property located at 203 N. Mountain Ave.  A Lot Line Adjustment is included in the proposal to incorporate the western end of the parcel located at 185 N. Mountain Ave (Havurah Shir Haddash Jewish Temple) into the subdivision.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove a 40-inch diameter at breast height Black Walnut tree in the N. Mountain Avenue street right-of-way adjacent to the front of the property located at 203 N. Mountain Ave. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential (P Overlay); ZONING: R-1-5-P; ASSESSORíS MAP # 39 1E 09 AA; TAX LOTS:  1500, 1600, 1701, 1800.  APPLICANT:  Urban Development Services, LLC


Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts Ė Sager, Rich, Loftus, Siewert, Guiley and Holley did site visits, Chapman did not.  Pritchard did a site visit the last time this project was reviewed.


Amy presented the staff report.


Applicant testimony:  Larry Medinger 115 Fork St. explained the differences in this proposal compared to the last one.  He said that in the last proposal a large number of really great trees were slated for removal and with this new proposal they will be preserving those trees. The applicants are still asking to be able to remove the 40Ē Black Walnut by the road in the event that it canít survive the construction, though they will try and save it if at all possible.   It appears like a substantial  tree but at this point it is in extreme decline, 60 percent of the trunk is gone and is  a potential liability. 


Tom Myers, Certified Arborist, 2040 Ashland Mine Rd., explained that part of the changes included trying to save the English Walnut because it is a substantial tree and probably the best tree on the lot.  It will  require working within the tree protection zone but  itís odds of survival are quite high since we will only affect 20 percent of the root zone, stated Mr. Myers.


Dean Walker, applicant,  245 Meadow Slope Road, Talent, is impressed with the amount of care that Mr. Medinger has brought to the second set of plans. 


The Commissioners discussed the project.  Sager suggested minimizing the width of the driveway in order to try and save the English Walnut.   She also suggested having the garage door engineered so that there is no center post allowing the car on the right-hand side to make the maneuver away from the tree.  Mr. Medinger agreed that was a good idea.




1)                   Tree Commission recommends using pervious paving techniques for driveway on Lot 3 under dripline of English walnut.


2)                   Minimize driveway width on Lot 3 at alley to further reduce encroachment into root zone of English walnut.


3)                   That a curb, keystone wall, boulders or other form of parking obstacle be installed along driveway of Lot 3 and along south edge of alley to prevent parking under English walnut.


4)                   All future landscaping and irrigation under dripline of English walnut shall be implemented under supervision of consulting project Arborist.


5)                   Tree Commission supports applicantís efforts to retain Black Walnut under consultation with project Arborist, but supports the possible future removal if preservation proves to be ill fated or potentially hazardous.


6)                   That all tree preservation, protection and pruning techniques recommended by the consulting project arborist shall become conditions of approval.


Pritchard reported that the tree protection has been removed from 2001 Siskiyou Blvd.  Amy will bring it to Adamís attention again.  Holley commented that he is not pleased with what he is seeing at Dairy Queen.


The Commissioners welcomed Colin Guiley to the Commission.  Guiley is a student at SOU with a double major in Spanish and Biology.  By joining the Commission he is  hoping to learn more about City Government as well as  adding a different perspective to the Commission.  He is very interested in the protection of trees.



Type 1 Review sign-up Ė

October 5, 2006-Sager, Holley, Pritchard

November 9, 2006-Loftus, Pritchard, Guiley

December 7, 2006-Holley, Siewert, Loftus, Guiley



Land Use Ordinance Review chapters 18.61 & 18.62 (Siegel Report)-The Commissioners decided they would each individually review the ordinance between now and the next meeting, make their comments and corrections and bring them back to the Commission next month. A subcommittee will be put together next month who will combine the comments and prepare a draft which will eventually go to the City Council.   


Commission Powers and Duties 2.25-Chapman reported that the subcommittee is coming up with a template to make all the Commissions consistent.  The Commissions will receive another questionnaire soon.  Holley has prepared a draft with corrections and will send that new version to the Tree Commissioners for their review.  Chapman noted that this Commission is missing the Why you Exist section and said a one sentence blurb would be sufficient. 


Liaison Reports ĖNo reports


Amy announced that next month the Fire Department will be coming to the meeting and presenting their proposed new ordinance. Amy will get a copy of the ordinance and put it in next monthís packet for review prior to the meeting.


Old Business

Tree Planting & Pruning specifications-Changes could be made regarding the graphics and content anytime up until March.   Amy will ask Adam to send the image to Holley who will then edit the picture and get it to Ann.


Tree Grates-options other than metal- The problem with the metal Tree Grates is that itís difficult to expand the area around the trunk of the tree as it grows.  Itís also a nightmare for irrigation as the tree gets bigger.  After some research Sager found one company that does recycled plastic grates but they donít have any removal rings and the diameter size is only a foot.  Another issue with the plastic is that itís not very stable so you have to fill right up to underneath it with gravel.  She will continue to keep searching and encouraged the other Commissioners to do the same.  


Landscape Professional Ordinance- The purpose of this ordinance was to watch non enforcement at project sites and try to get the Landscape Professionals to be the point person to work with to make sure that conditions of approval are met throughout the construction process.  The Commissioners agreed to send this on to Siegel for their review.


Heritage Tee List-There is ordinance language done talking about the Heritage Tree List but that list needs to be finalized.  Amyís list of trees was created a number of years ago.  It was suggested that the property owners on that list be contacted and asked if they would like to have their tree designated a Heritage Tree.  Sager suggested doing an article for the Back page of the Tidings regarding Heritage Trees and what it really means offering interested citizens the ability to sign up on the website.


Mitigation Resolution progress report- Amy reported that she is done with the report and has passed it on to her supervisors to review and then it will go to the City Attorney.  She will report back after hearing from them.


New Items

Amy announced that she is expecting a baby on March 22, 2006 and will be taking maternity leave.  Yea!


Tree of the Year Nomination begins-The Nomination form was in the City utility bill and is on the City Website.  Citizens have until Tuesday October 2, 2006 to nominate their favorite tree.  The Commissioners will review the nominees at the October 5th meeting. The list of nominated trees are reduced usually to 5 and a ballot gets printed in the newspaper and posted on the City Website.  Typically the Tree of the Year voting is the last day of October and the winner is announced at the second November City Council meeting. 


Ailanthus replacement vote ends-Ginkgo Biloba 77 votes, Sugar Maple 63 votes, Scarlet Oak 27 votes, Zelkova 10 votes and Prospector Elm 2 votes. 


Amy received a two day notice that the Oregon Community Trees quarterly meting is September 8, 2006.  Because of such late notice she will not be attending.  


Current Balance is $750.00.  To post the Tree of the Year ballot in the paper will cost approximately $220.00


Tree Commission Goals ĖPritchard said that she has spoken with Linda Chesney at North Mountain Nature Park and is scheduling  a Tree Pruning Class for sometime in  January. 


Pritchard left at 9:10 p.m.


Media Outreach Ė The back page article that Siewert wrote came out in the Friday Edition of the Daily Tidings. The Commissioners acknowledged he did a great job.  Sager reminded the Commissioners that she would like to have a list of those who are willing to write a back page article so she could get a backlog going.   


Holley handed out a copy of a Letter to the Editor from David Kennedy regarding Trees in Ashland for those that might not have read it.


ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Holley adjourned the meeting at 9:26 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



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