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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, October 05, 2006




October 5, 2006


CALL TO ORDER –Chair Bryan Holley called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on October 5, 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

Mary Pritchard


Laurie Sager, absent

Staff Present

Ted Loftus, absent

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

Steve Siewert

Anne Rich, Parks Department

Colin Guiley

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Page 3 Landscaping Professional Ordinance paragraph, last sentence should read the Commissioners agreed to send this on to legal not Siegel.  Pritchard/Rich m/s to approve the minutes of September 7, 2006. Voice vote:  all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of September 7, 2006 were approved as corrected.

John Galbraith, Landscape Architect, 318 S. Grape Medford asked for clarification regarding the project at 150 Lithia Way.  The Commissioners confirmed that the tree he originally wanted to plant, Green Vase Zelkova, would be OK to plant due to the use of structural soil. 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00612 is a request for Site Review approval to construct a mixed-use development comprised of 7,841 square feet of general office space and six residential condominiums for the property located at 160 Helman St.  An Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards is requested to reduce the required landscape strip between the parking area and property line to less than the required five-foot minimum. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Employment ZONING:  E-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP #:  39 1E 04 CC; TAX LOT#:  2100.
APPLICANT:  Siskiyou LLC/James Batzer

The Commissioners originally reviewed this Planning Action in July and asked for an arborist report and a utility plan to look at in conjunction with the Tree Protection plan.  The Commissioners also previously had issues with TID moving closer to the Oak trees on the east side of the property line. 

Applicant testimony:  Mark Knox, Urban Development Services, 320 E Main Suite 202 Ashland, John Galbraith, Landscape Architect, 318 S. Grape Medford and Mike Minder were present to represent the applicants and answer questions.  Mr. Knox stated that the changes made with the project had to do with the design of the building, the plaza area and the materials.  Items that the Historic Commission had requested.  Mr. Knox confirmed that all the utilities will be underground. 

The Commissioners agreed that all the changes to the project were for the better.

1) Tree Commission recommends that a certified arborist be on-site for the pruning of the trees along the east property line.

2) Tree Commission supports changes made to plan increasing planter sizes and moving of utility lines away from trees.

3) Tree Commission recommends directional boring instead of trenching when installing new utility lines if within tree protection zones.  

Domestic Vegetation Management Ordinance-Fire Department - Marguerite Hickman, Fire Marshal and Chris Chambers, Forest Resource Coordinator, were present to discuss this proposed ordinance and answer questions. Ms. Hickman shared that about two and half years ago the Fire Department began a discussion regarding fires that were propagated through domestic vegetation.  In November of 2005 they appeared before the City Council for a Fire Code Adoption.  The Council asked the Fire Department to consider what other fire protection measures they could take to enhance the Fire protection in the City.  They went back to the Council and presented the Vegetation Management Ordinance.  The Council requested they come back with an “actional” item.

The Planning Department indicated concerns regarding the Ordinance recognizing possible conflicts between this Ordinance and Chapter 18.72. They requested that the Fire Department come before the Tree Commission requesting their input on how they think the ordinance could be modified to meet and cooperate with what they work to accomplish in the City.  Ms. Hickman stated that their goal is to mitigate fire hazard not to hamper any creative process that Landscape Professionals might have nor to decrease the aesthetic values that land owners may have in mind. 

The Commissioners suggested a much more extensive approved plant list be provided to home owners.  It was also suggested that a list of what absolutely not to plant might be an easier way to go.  The Commissioners decided to put together a sub committee at the next months meeting.

Commission Powers and Duties 2.25 – Holley distributed the draft he has been working on incorporating all the Commissioners suggestions.  The Commissioners will review the draft and bring it back next month for discussion.

Tree of the Year Nominations – The Commissioners discussed the nominations for Tree of the Year.  The only rules that apply to the nominations are that the tree must be visible to the public and it cannot be on Parks land.  The following five trees are the winning nominations.

Pacific Madrone—Arbutus menziessi at Mountain View Cemetary (on north side of Ashland St. along dirt service road in middle of Cemetary)
Redwoods—Sequoia Sempervirens at 65 Granite Street
Western Juniper—    at 126 Church Street
White Oak—Quercus garryana at 1209 Iowa Street
Douglass Fir—Pseudotsuga menziesii at 108 Granite Street

Amy will put the ballot on the City website, newspaper, City Hall, Utility Office, Chamber of Commerce and at the counter in the Community Development Building.

Liaison Reports – Chapman did not have a report.

Rich reported that she had recently attended an ISA Arborist convention in Redmond, Washington.  Rich learned that pervious concrete is very difficult to maintain and that the only effective way of removing debris from it is through vacuuming. 

Tree Grates - The Commissioners asked Rich to pass on the information that they have gathered regarding alternatives to cast iron grates to Paula Brown.  They would like Amy to ask Paula Brown if she would be willing to order one each of aluminum and one plastic for their review.

Alder Tree Sculpture – Holley distributed a picture of the sculpture at 96 N Main.  He attended the ceremony last Saturday and represented the Tree Commission.  He was quite impressed with the ceremony.

Backpage Articles – Holley read an email from Scott Boslinger from the Daily Tidings stating that all the Tree Commission needs to do is send in the Backpage article with the date they would like to have it published by.  Holley volunteered to do an article for October regarding the five finalists for the Tree of the Year and Siewert volunteered to write an article about Living Christmas Trees for the November back page.
Tree Clinics – Pritchard has scheduled a Tree Pruning Seminar for Saturday January 6, 2006 from 1:00 to 2:30 at North Mountain Park. 

ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Holley adjourned the meeting at 9:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by, Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

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