Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session

Tuesday, June 26, 2007




JUNE 26, 2007


CALL TO ORDER - Chair John Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Civic Center, 1175 E. Main Street.



Commissioners Present:   


Council Liaison:

John  Stromberg, Chair

Michael Dawkins

Olena Black

Tom Dimitre


Cate Hartzell, Council Liaison, present


Staff Present:

David Stalheim, Community Development Director

John Fields

Pam Marsh


Bill Molnar, Planning Manager

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

Melanie Mindlin

Mike Morris



Dave Dotterrer



Absent Members:  None















The City Council was invited to join the Planning Commission for the following presentation.  Councilors Cate Hartzell, Russ Silbiger, David Chapman, Kate Jackson and Eric Navickas were present.  Mayor John Morrison and Alice Hardesty were absent.



Stalheim introduced JOHN WIEBKE, Transportation Planner and CHRISTIAN SNUFFIN, Traffic Engineer, both with David Evans and Associates, Inc.  They were later joined by MIKE BAKER.


Wiebke gave a PowerPoint presentation describing the IAMP.   He explained that both interchange projects will be happening concurrently.  A citizens’ advisory committee (CAC) has been formed in Ashland and met for the first time last month.  Interchange modifications are being done to last for a 20 year cycle.  The final plan will ultimately be adopted by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Ashland.  Wiebke reviewed the public involvement process.  He talked about the current deficiencies of the exits one of which is the facilities for bike and pedestrians.  He is learning how important this element is in their plans.  They anticipate having to widen the bridges and are looking at new ramps for Exit 19 and less extreme ramps for Exit 14.


Hartzell asked they take into account the winter mountain pass closings that can occur on I-5 and the traffic hazards and safety issues that arise with the closing.


Jackson would like to see a model that includes consideration for higher density – in other words, the denser the population, the more we can use public transit systems, slower speeds to encourage bikes and pedestrians, etc.  She does not want to oversize the system.  Chapman added he wants to see a safe and efficient interchange, particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians. 


Christian said they were looking at a five lane alternative that would include sidewalks, bike lanes, two travel lanes and a left turn lane.  They showed some samples of bridges and ramps but were looking at a configuration call the divergent diamond. 


Stromberg said that sometimes the County has very different ideas from the City’s, yet we are just as concerned with the north interchange as the south.  We want to make sure we have a strong voice, role and influence in the process.  An audience member said he would like equal or more neighborhood influence in the planning for Exit 19.  Baker said he could bring back the plan and review it with the Council and Planning Commission, but Exit 19 is out of the City’s jurisdiction.


Wiebke said notes from the committee meetings will soon be posted online.


Commissioner Dotterrer is a member of the CAC.  He explained it is advisory in nature, however, the City of Ashland is well represented.


Debriefing – Comments and Concerns:

Would like to see more involvement by the Planning Commission in this process

  • Should the Council follow-up or get more involved with Exit 19?
    • Can Staff assist the County in accessing a buildable lands inventory?  This is important.
    • Find ways to invite the public to the upcoming workshop.
    • Have the Mayor write a grateful letter for allowing us to be involved and ask them to come before us again with updates.
  • The Planning Commission or City’s goals may be divergent from ODOT’s goals. 
  • Send a clearer, stronger statement about what the City’s goals are.
  • What are the implications of the work ODOT will be doing on land values?


Stromberg asked that anyone who has a particular interest in this project or new ideas to share to let him know. 



Stromberg handed out and read the General Duties and Specific Duties of the Planning Commission.  He believes the Planning Commission is starting to move into a more assertive leadership role in the community.


Stalheim gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining the work plan before the Planning Commission for the next 18 months (see Attachment A – Planning Commission Goals – Draft).  The Planning Commission reviewed the points presented and made some changes reflected in Attachment B – Planning Commission Goals – Adopted June 26, 2007.


Goal 1.  Initiate the review and revision, as necessary, of the Comprehensive Plan.

Points the Commission considered leading to their decision to adopt this goal.


  1. Get citizen participation up and running as soon as possible.
  2. Initiate the review of the Comp Plan as the first step to get rolling.
  3. Elicit core values of the community - a must. 
  4. Core values will lead the ideas that form all of the Comprehensive Plan. 
  5. Who is it that should be leading the changes to the Comprehensive Plan?

How much does the Commission want to do and how much should be appropriated to other groups?

6.     Form a subcommittee to put together a proposal to bring back models for public participation.

7.     Allow the Commission to modify goals when necessary.

8.     Need Council’s full buy-in for this work and it should be done early in the process.


Black/Dimitre m/s to adopt the goal to initiate the review and revision, as necessary, of the Comprehensive Plan.  Roll Call:  The motion was unanimously approved.


Goal 2.   Review and amend the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to address inconsistencies and priority policy issues as outlined below.

Points the Commission considered leading to their decision to adopt this goal.

        1.     Confusion about what issues have fallen under “low-hanging fruit.”  Are there gray areas?

        2.     Value in segregating out controversial items.

        3.     The document will end up in a reader-friendly version.

        4.     Add the wording “…and make recommendations to the ‘City Council’...” to Goal 2.


Morris/Marsh m/s to approve Goal 2 along with “Other Items Mentioned.”


        5.     Approve a. – d.  Prioritize the rest. Some of the items are not on the study session schedule.

        6.     Complete the items under Goal 2 in sequence.  Work on items g-k as there is time.

        7.     Build-in ability to reassess the list at six months and to add items, as needed.

        8.     Preference of the Chair would be to adopt all the goals unanimously.

        9.     Everyone is familiar with items a. – d.  The other items could use further explanation. 


Black/Fields m/s to remove items d. – j.  Add a Goal 3 with the items d. – j.   Roll Call:  The motion carried with Mindlin, Black, Dimitre, Marsh, Dawkins, Dotterrer and Stromberg voting “yes” and Fields and Morris voting “no.”


Black/Fields m/s made a sub motion to amend the motion on the table (Morris’ motion) to remove items d. – j.  Roll Call:  The motion carried with Mindlin, Black, Dimitre, Marsh Dawkins, Fields, Dotterrer and Stromberg voting “yes” and Morris voting “no.”


3.            Review land use plans and standards for Croman Mill Site and Railroad property.

This goal changed to Goal 4. 

Marsh/Dotterrer m/s to approve the new Goal 4. 


Points the Planning Commission considered leading to their decision to adopt this goal.

        1.     The Croman site and the Railroad Property are two very different sites.

        2.     There is development potential on the Railroad Property. 

        3.     Why not do the Railroad Property, Railroad District and Downtown?

        4.     The Railroad Property involves clean-up.


Marsh/Dotterrer m/s to amend her motion to include only the Croman Mill Site with the understanding Staff will bring back any information they have regarding the Railroad Property.   Roll Call:  The vote was approved unanimously.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

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