Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, November 20, 2006

City of Ashland






November 20, 2006



Present:   Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:    None


Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Study Session – October 16, 2006  In the section entitled Fees and Charges Discussion, Eggers requested clarification as to whether the potential “tiered” approach for fees would include charging social service organizations 15% of the proposed fees, as recorded in the minutes, and Robertson clarified that it was not offered as a recommendation but rather as an example of a “tiered” approach.

In the section entitled School District Proposal (YAL Distribution), under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked for a wording change for the term “shell game” and offered the following alternative: “Commissioners expressed concern about potential for public confusion or misunderstanding due to shifting of YAL funds between Parks and the School District.” In the same section, Eggers asked that the sentence regarding Parks’ potential maintenance of school grounds be revised to reflect that: “Most commissioners agreed in principle to the concept of having Parks maintain the school grounds, inclusive of all areas, with the understanding that, once the levy ends in May 2008, and if it is not renewed, Schools will continue to pay Parks for maintaining school grounds for the duration of the five-year contract.”

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – October 23, 2006  In the “Unfinished Business” section entitled Clinton Street Property Proposal, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the sentence relating to guidance received from the Conservation Commission about appropriate use of lawns be changed to reflect that, while the Conservation Commission advised the Parks Commission on appropriate use of lawns in general, they did not specifically advise on the lawns at the Clinton Street property and the Parks Commission ultimately did not deem that the two small strips of land at the entrance to the park area were appropriate places on which lawn should be placed. Suggested edits for the second bulleted point were offered but the commission ultimately retained the original language.

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as written. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum

Chris Dow, 1399 Mill Pond Road, asked that, with the recent fee increases at the Darex Family Ice Rink, youth hockey skaters be allowed to skate at half price, or receive just one punch on their punch cards instead of two, since the new fees would make family hockey skating cost prohibitive.





Robertson reviewed the master planning process for the Ashland Creek park site and invited David Lewis, landscape architect for the project, to speak to the commission.

David Lewis provided an overview of the project, the site, and the process used to complete the final draft of the master plan, which he presented to the commission.

Public Input

Ann Cramer and Wayne Reilly submitted an email to the commission, which was read into the record, stating their opinion regarding the proposed plan and expressing some concerns, including the trees along the east and west ends of the proposed community garden site, which could create too much shade, and the plan to move garden sites from their present location, since the soil at existing sites had been worked and improved upon over four years’ time.

Bryan Holley, 324 Liberty Street, thanked the commission for the opportunity to participate in the public process toward the creation of the park and expressed concern about the half-court basketball area, which he felt was a last-minute addition that could conflict with the meditative elements of the park. He urged the commission to reconsider removal of the horse barn, to allow for better vehicular access to the community gardening area, and to protect the wildlife corridor within the property.

Patrick Marcus, 813 Leonard Street, acknowledged with gratitude the work of David Lewis and Associates, stating that the plan is a fair compromise, with the positive attributes outweighing the negatives. His concerns with the plan included the placement of the community garden, which he felt would provide too much shade, the willow trees in the area that would compete for water, the lack of drainage in the grassy area, the lack of adequate vehicular access to the garden, the demonstration beds placed outside the community garden fence, and the lack of security in the “panhandle” section of the park, which could pose a problem in terms of vagrant camping.

Elizabeth Vogel, 515 Oak Street, stated that her parents originally owned the property and she is the nearest neighbor to that parcel of land. After voicing appreciation for the draft plan, she outlined a number of concerns, including the half-court basketball area, the trees around the proposed park that could shelter vagrants from view, and concern for the protection of the deer on the site.

Discussion Among Commissioners

After considerable discussion regarding attributes of the plan and the volume of public input, commissioners agreed to move forward with a motion. Eggers asked for minor rewording of some elements within the plan and David Lewis agreed to their implementation upon receipt of a complete list from staff.

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the master plan for the Vogel property park site, also referred to as the Ashland Creek Park. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Robertson reminded the commission of their request for consideration of a no smoking policy for parks. He reviewed past policies on the topic, including:

§         A November 2001 policy prohibiting smoking at the Darex Family Ice Rink [on the ice and in the area between the concessions and the entryway but allowing it in the stands], in the fenced area at the Daniel Meyer Pool, at the Skate Park, and within the sandy beach area of the reservoir.

§         A January 2002 policy prohibiting smoking at Hunter, YMCA, and North Mountain Parks, with the exception of the vehicle parking areas, as well as in and adjacent to all playgrounds and playground equipment within 25 feet of those areas. The act of smoking and substances/tobacco-like products to smoke were also defined by the commission within that policy.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed amending the current policies to prohibit smoking on all park properties, including parking lots, and questioned whether the rule would be enforceable. Robertson stated that policies are not laws and would not be enforceable by law but that most people, when asked, will extinguish tobacco-like products. Commissioners agreed that creating a no smoking policy for parks would indicate to the public that the Parks Commission is concerned about the dangers of second-hand smoke and wishes to serve as good stewards by promoting a healthy environment for all of Ashland’s citizens.

Motion Rosenthal moved to not allow smoking in Parks-managed areas. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no




Calle Subcommittee Report

Robertson reported that the subcommittee, comprised of staff, Plaza merchants / restaurateurs, and Calle artisans, had met three times and defined three categories on which to work:

§         Facilities—condition of surface, adequacy of mapping, and overall maintenance

§         Policy—rules for use and operation of the Calle

§         Administration—enforcement of policies associated with the Calle

He indicated that the group produced recommendations regarding facilities and would begin working on the policy portion at their next meeting. Upon completion of all three areas, he stated that the subcommittee report would be brought before the commission for their review and discussion.

Golf Course Subcommittee Report

Robertson stated that the subcommittee had been working on the creation of a golf course marketing plan and, to that end, had met with an advertising professional to review advertising proposals, with the goal to increase rounds of golf played at the course. Rosenthal indicated that recent capital improvements had resulted in a 15% increase in usage at the course.

Ice Rink Report

Teige reported that the Darex Family Ice Rink opened for the season on Saturday, November 18, and thanked all Parks staff assisting with that effort.

Director Review

Robertson reminded the commission of his upcoming performance review in December.


Eggers asked about the status of the previously requested refined list of goals from an early joint study session between Parks, Schools, and City Council, and Robertson reported that he was working on locating it.


§            Study session set for Thursday, December 14, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§      Lithia Park fees review

§      Youth hockey fees review

§      IGA between Parks and Schools

§      Executive session for Director review

§            Regular meeting set for Monday, December 18, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 8:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

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