Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

These Minutes are preliminary pending approval by Council
at the August 21, 2007 City Council Meeting.

August 7, 2007
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.
Councilor Navickas, Hardesty, Hartzell, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Jackson was absent.
Mayor Morrison announced vacancies on the Tree, Bicycle & Pedestrian, Forest Lands, Historic, and Traffic Safety Commissions.
The minutes of the Executive Session Meeting of July 17, 2007, Annual General Meeting between City Council and Ashland Community Hospital of July 17, 2007, Regular Council Meeting of July 17, 2007 and Continued Council Meeting of July 18, 2007 were approved as presented.
Presentation was made by Ashland City Band Director, Don Bieghler, regarding the upcoming trip to Guanajuato, Mexico to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ashland's Sister City relationship.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Approval of a Public Contract greater than $75,000 - Electric Wire.
3. Response Letter to County Administrator Danny Jordan.
4. Approval of Agreement with Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad Regarding the Improvement of the East Main Street Rail Crossing.
5. Request for Water Service to Residence Located Outside the City Limits.
6. Liquor License Application - Annual Approvals.
7. Approval of a Sole Source Procurement Greater than $75,000 - Dry Creek Landfill.
Councilor Hartzell requested Items #3 and #5 be pulled for discussion. Councilor Hardesty requested Item #2 be pulled for discussion.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1, #4, #6 and #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.

Administrative Services Direction Lee Tuneberg provided a short explanation as to why the City needs to purchase this amount of electric wire. He clarified the City often performs repairs or maintenance and noted some of the wire will go into inventory, but the rest will go directly into projects where the City performs the wiring.

City Administrator Martha Bennett commented on Item #3 and clarified if the City wishes to place something on the November 2008 ballot, there is a July deadline.

Councilor Hartzell expressed concern with pushing the County to move faster with the RFP. Councilor Navickas voiced his disappointment that the letter does not include a statement regarding the City's position on privatization. Councilor Hartzell suggested either striking or modifying the sentence "Any funding solutions that will require a vote of the people must be identified in the next several months in order to prepare for the September or November 2008 ballot". Councilor Silbiger made an alternate suggestion and proposed changing the phrase "the next several months" to "in a timely manner".

Staff noted Council's suggestions and indicated they would look into making this modification.

City Engineer Jim Olson commented on Item #5. He clarified the request that came before Council recently was for sanitary sewer, not water. He commented on this particular request and noted that there are not many areas where all of the elements come together that enable a residence to connect to the City's water system.

Councilor Hartzell expressed concern that allowing these types of connections in a piece meal way may place pressure on getting TAP sooner than the Water Master Plan predicted.

Councilor Silbiger questioned if it would be better to annex the property now, and noted the City could then collect property taxes.

Shannon Beebe/3013 East Main Street/Clarified the parcel size is 1.7 acres. She also clarified the property is for sale and is currently on the market.

Assistant City Attorney Richard Appicello noted there is already a condition in place that requires the property owner to sign a consent to annexation.

Councilor Hardesty/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda Item #5. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Chapman/Navickas to approve Consent Agenda Items #2 and #3. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to direct staff to consider the comments made and return to Council with a memo on the merits of annexing this property. Motion was withdrawn.

Larry Morningstar/858 A Street/Invited the Mayor, City Council and community to a Peace Village Festival at the Jackson Hot Springs on August 25, 2007.

Pauline Black/974 Pinecrest Terrace/Commented on Library issue. She stated the Request for Proposal's (RFP) for the privatization of the library were received this Monday and noted that the County is forming a review board and requested a representative from Ashland participate on this committee.

Art Bullock/Spoke regarding a public notice he received from the City in regards to the proposed land use changes. He stated the notice was not descriptive enough in its explanation to the property owners and stated the changes came from the Planning Director, who he does not believe has the power to write law. Mr. Bullock stated the changes undue precedence that has been set by the Council and expressed concern with the proposed schedule. Mr. Bullock submitted a paper he produces titled "Of the People..."

Councilor Hartzell clarified the public hearing for the proposed land use changes would be initiated on September 11, 2007; however, the Planning Commission agreed to hold as many meeting as needed to ensure sure the public is informed and given the opportunity to provide input.

Ron Elterman/355 Glenn Street/Spoke regarding the proposed tethering ordinance and how there are many people who are in favor of this ordinance.

Linda Lowe/Spoke regarding the proposed tethering ordinance and requested the Council to keep this "on their plate".

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Spoke regarding the Oregon Shakespeare Festival bricks and requested that the Council reconsider their approval of allowing the replacement of the bricks to "slide". He requested the Council require OSF to repair the bricks immediately following this season, in accordance with the law, their lease, and the public interest. Mr. Lang noted news articles from the Mail Tribune printed on July 28, 2007 and submitted a letter on this subject into the public record.

1. LUBA 2007-113 (Deliberation only) PA 2006-02354.

Abstentions, Conflicts, Ex Parte Contacts
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Chapman, and Silbiger indicated they have had no ex parte contact. Mayor Morrison announced he also has had no ex parte contact. Councilor Hartzell noted she had heard that this property is for sale; however, this would not influence her decision. Council Hardesty noted that she had also heard this information and had noticed the "For Sale" sign on the property.

Assistant City Attorney Richard Appicello explained that the Council had previously issued a decision and had adopted Findings for this planning action, and were planning to ratify these Findings. He stated because of the LUBA appeal, this issue was taken out of the City's jurisdiction; however, he filed a withdrawal and reconsideration with LUBA so the Council could ratify the Findings. He noted the options currently before Council and recommended they move forward with Option 2, which is to adopt the shorter version of the Findings, which were presented on June 18, 2007. Mr. Appicello clarified Option 2 is also the closest to reaffirming the Planning Commission's decision.

Councilor Hardesty/Silbiger m/s to adopt Option #2 and authorize the Mayor to sign the Findings. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas voiced his disappointment in the process and voiced support for accepting Option #3 instead. Mayor Morrison stated he also supports Option #3, but can live with Option #2 if that is what the Council wants to do. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman and Hardesty, YES. Councilor Hartzell, Silbiger and Navickas, NO. Motion Failed 3-2.

Councilor Navickas/Silbiger m/s to adopt Option #3. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger and Navickas, YES. Councilor Hartzell and Chapman, NO. Motion passed 3-2.

2. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for PA 2006-01784, 720 Grandview Drive.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to adopt the Findings as presented. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Chapman, Navickas, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 5-0.

3. FY 2007-08 Chamber of Commerce Contract.

Councilor Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to approve monthly payments of the granted amounts to the Chamber of Commerce through the end of September 2007. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Silbiger, Chapman, Navickas and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed 5-0.

1. First Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code, Chapter 2.12, City Planning Commission".
Community Development Director David Stalheim, Planning Commissioner Chair John Stromberg and Planning Commissioner Dave Dotterrer presented the proposed amendments.

Mr. Stromberg stated the major recommendation is a new statement of the Planning Commission's powers and duties and noted the secondary recommendations as the following: 1) Remove City Attorney and Engineer as ex officio members, 2) Allow the Mayor to designate someone to serve in his/her place as an ex officio member of the Commission, 3) Allow the Commission to decide when it elects officers, 4) Require a majority of the full Commission when recommending changes to the Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Ordinances, and 5) Retain the former powers and duties on a "may exercise" basis.

Mr. Dotterrer commented that the duties are not clear and the Planning Commission has been given more duties than they can realistically accomplish. He noted the Commission has been spending the majority of its time dealing with planning actions and not addressing the bigger planning issues. He commented on what is permitted under State law and noted a survey of other Oregon cities was completed and resulted in a "menu" of potential Commission duties. Mr. Dotterrer stated their recommendation focuses the Commission's efforts and clearly states why there is a Planning Commission and what they are expected to do. He commented on the function of land use planning and clarified the statement that the Planning Commission would have direction and oversight of this function is meant as a broad intent statement and does not give the Planning Commission any authority over staff.

Comment was made regarding whether it is still appropriate to allow up to two non-residents on the Commission. Mr. Stromberg and Mr. Dotterrer stated the Commission did not discuss this, but noted that the State's guidelines indicates studying and making recommendations about anything affecting the health, welfare, and safety within a 6-mile radius of the City limits. Mayor Morrison noted he interprets this to mean individuals who live within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

Comment was made that the proposal seems to make the Planning Commission the official steward of the Comprehensive Plan instead of the Council. Mr. Stromberg noted that everything the Planning Commission does results in a recommendation that goes before the Council, and they are essentially providing support services.

Mr. Stromberg commented that the Planning Commission has been working in isolation and have not been involved in regional problem solving, and there was general consensus among the Commission that they should begin to make these connections.

Comment was made that the language in the "Powers and Duties" section appears give the Planning Commission more power and staff was asked to offer their suggestions. Mr. Appicello stated the Council

could include a disclaimer that states "nothing herein grants the Planning Commission authority to supervise the Planning Department or Planning staff", but does not know that this is necessary. City Adminsitrator Martha Bennett offered an alternate suggestion to delete " and oversight of..." and replace with "providing advice and recommendations to the City Council regarding ...". She stated the troublesome word in this section is "oversight".

Mr. Dotterrer explained the intent of this language is for the Planning Commission to oversee the process and provide direction and then bring forward recommendations to the Council. Mr. Stromberg briefly commented on the terms "direction", "oversight", and "stewardship" and how they interpreted these words.

Comment was made questioning how the transportation system and planning would fit in with the land use planning. Mr. Dotterrer noted this issue was discussed by the Commission, but after looking at their priorities it was determined that they would not able to accomplish this task. It was suggested that the City form a Transportation Commission that would work in conjunction with the Traffic Safety and Bicycle & Pedestrian Commissions to handle this.

More concern was expressed with the phrase "direction and oversight" contained in Section 4. Ms. Bennett offered an additional suggestion to change the first sentence to "The Planning Commission is the apopinted citizen body with the primary role and responsibility of providing advice and recommendations to the City Council regarding the direction of City land use planning...".

Mayor Morrison cautioned the Council to not get into wordsmithing and suggested they move ahead by having a Study Session where the Council and members of the Planning Commission could come together. Opposition was voiced to this suggestion and requests were made for the Council to continue with this discussion tonight.

Mr. Stromberg requested clarification as to whether the Mayor should continue to be an ex-officio member. Mayor Morrison commented on the benefits of this and voiced his preference for the Mayor to be the ex-officio member.

Councilor Hartzell offered the following suggestions: 1) include representatives of the City's Legal and Engineering Offices as ex officio members, 2) regarding the issue of non-resident members, requested this be changed to individuals living within the Urban Growth Boundary, 3) voiced support for adding the disclaimer as suggested by Mr. Appicello, 4) regarding Section 2, suggested the language "in the month after the annual appointment process", 5) regarding Section 4(B), suggested eliminating "Develop, review, and maintain the Comprehensive Plan...", and 6) regarding Section 4(B)(3), requested some rewording be done on the last part of the sentence.

Councilor Navickas noted the importance of comparing what is being proposed to the previous ordinance and stated there is a big difference between the two. He suggested that the proposed language is too strong and should be toned down, and voiced his disappointment about the loss of emphasis on the industrial and economic needs of the community. He also stated that he does not believe the Comprehensive Plan should fall under the Planning Commission's authority.

Mr. Stromberg agreed that the industrial and economic piece has been neglected, but does not believe the Planning Commission will be able to handle this while simultaneously performing the land use planning.

Councilor Hardesty voiced her support for a Transportation Commission to handle the economic and industrial development element. Regarding the language in Section 4(B), she suggested modifying it to read "Develop, review, and maintain the land use element of the Comprehensive Plan", and then have a coordinating function with the other aspects of the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Stromberg acknowledged the Council's suggestions and stated they will take their comments back to the Planning Commission and will return to the Council with a revised proposal. He noted that they will need to know whether or not the Council feels the Comprehensive Plan needs to be revised.

Art Bullock/Stated the Planning Commission is primarily a legislative committee, but they also provide judicial functions when handling planning actions. Mr. Bullock stated the proposal before Council increases the power of the Planning Commission. He voiced his opinion that the Comprehensive Plan needs to be revised, but stated the direction regarding this should come from the Council, not the Planning Commission. He also commented that the proposal does not deal with CPAC and stated the City is in violation of State law due to the lack of this.

Paul Copeland/462 Jennifer Street/Commented on transportation and industrial planning and suggested they include this in the Planning Commission's proposal, even if the Commission does not currently have the ability to work on this element.

Council offered their final comments and it was agreed that they had given the Planning Commission enough direction for them to incorporate and return to Council with a revised proposal. Recommendation was made that when this issue does come back, that the Council be as vigilant as possible about moving it forward. Comment was made that it is important for the industrial, transportation, economic planning and CPAC issues not "slip through the cracks". Additional suggestion was made for the ordinance to include a definition of land use planning.

2. Second Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending AMC 3.08.020 To Apply Ethics Provisions to Employees, Appointed Officials and Elected Officials".
Mayor Morrison announced that Councilor Jackson had requested this item be postponed until she could be in attendance and it was noted that she has specific recommendations she would like to make.

Council agreed to bring this item back in September.

Request was made for clarification on the Mt. Ashland Association issue. City Administrator Martha Bennett explained she has a very short meeting scheduled with a Mt. Ashland Association (MAA) staff person to go over the motion. She noted this is the only action she was planning on taking until Council has had the opportunity to meet again on this issue in September.

Councilor Hartzell voiced her preference for the City's attorney to speak with MAA's attorney instead. Ms. Bennett acknowledged her concerns, but noted that there is an agreement in place that any talks will be done under the terms related to settlement loss and cannot be used in the lawsuit. Councilor Navickas voiced his preference for no discussions to occur until the Council has had the opportunity to discuss this again. Councilor Chapman commented that he does not see any harm in Ms. Bennett meeting with MAA. Councilor Hardesty voiced her discomfort in discussing this issue, as it is not listed on the agenda.

Ms. Bennett reminded the Council that the direction given to her was to continue to work cooperatively with MAA to the extent possible. She stated if Council does not wish her to speak with them at all, then this is completely contrary to direction that she was given. She stressed that she will not be making any commitments on behalf of the City and offered her opinion that not speaking them would be a mistake.

Mayor Morrison announced the meeting is adjourned.

Councilor Hartzell motioned for staff to work with Council in the next couple of days to arrange a Special Meeting. Mayor Morrison denied allowing the motion to move forward.

Meeting adjourned at 9:39 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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