Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 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.
Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
The minutes of the Study Session of December 3, 2007, Special Meeting of December 3, 2007, Executive Session of December 3, 2007, Executive Session of December 4, 2007 and Regular Council Meeting of December 4, 2007 were approved as presented.
Mayor Morrison announced the following items have been added to the agenda: 1) Proclamation of Christmas Tree Recycle Day in Ashland, and 2) Confirmation of appointment of City Attorney. He also noted Agenda Item X.1; Special Contract to expand sewer service at Willow Wind Educational Facility has been pulled from the agenda.
Proclamation for "Christmas Tree Recycle Day in Ashland" was read aloud by Councilor Chapman.
1. Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Does the Council wish to approve an ISP contract between the City and Pure Geek?
3. Does the Council wish to confirm an appointment by the Mayor for the vacancy on the Airport Commission for a term ending April 30, 2009?
4. Will the City Council, a the Local Contract Review Board, consent to enter into a public contract with Hughes Fire Equipment for the purchase of a Life Line Paraliner Type 1, Ambulance at a cost of $175,242.00?
5. Will the City Council confirm the Mayor's appointment of Richard Appicello to be City Attorney and approve the attached employment agreement?
Councilor Hartzell requested Item #5 be pulled for discussion.

Councilors Hartzell/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items #1-#4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell voiced her appreciation for the work Mr. Appicello has done, but stated she is uncomfortable confirming his appointment at this time.

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to confirm Mayor's appointment of Richard Appicello as City Attorney. Motion was withdraw to allow for public testimony.

Art Bullock/Commented on the lack of citizen involvement in this appointment and voiced frustration that this confirmation was not listed on the meeting's agenda. Mr. Bullock requested that citizens be allowed to have a strong say in the appointment of these key positions.

Mayor Morrison commented on the differences between hiring someone from outside the City and hiring someone from within. He explained part of the process in appointing a candidate is ensuring that he or she is familiar with the City and that the City is familiar with them. He stated in this case, Mr. Appicello has worked for the City for some time and the community is already familiar with him.

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to confirm Mayor's appointment of Richard Appicello as City Attorney. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty noted a formal candidate search was conducted and stated Mr. Appicello is by far the most qualified candidate. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Jackson, Navickas, Silbiger, and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

1. Should the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission and Staff, which implemented many of the changes described in Phase 1 of the Siegel report and proposes changes to the City's permitting and appeal procedures be approved?
Community Development Director Bill Molnar stated the goal of amending the Land Use Ordinance is to remedy internal inconsistencies and procedural items. He offered a brief explanation of the work of the Land Use Committee and stated staff developed their package of amendments based on the Committee's work. Mr. Molnar noted approximately 8,000 notices were sent out and a public hearing was conducted before the Planning Commission. On October 23, 2007, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the package.

Mr. Molnar introduced Planning Commissioners John Stromberg and John Fields and noted they are available to elaborate on the presentation and address any questions the Council may have.

Mr. Molnar provided a presentation on the 2007 Ashland Land Use Ordinance amendments. He stated in terms of the scope of amendments, the committee and staff focused on useful, practical improvements dealing with: permit and appeal procedures, readability, interpretation, internal consistencies in the application of the code, and amendments to some of the standards. He explained some of the proposed amendments to the procedures include new expedited land division procedures, amended Type I, Type II, Type III procedures, and ordinance interpretations. The key points from Mr. Molnar's presentation are as follows:

Amended Type I Procedure (18.108.040): 1) Staff permit procedure will be eliminated and integrated into Type I procedure, 2) It will be the same basic procedure, except the notice area will be expanded from 100 ft. to 200 ft., and 3) Amendment will allow for common timelines and notice procedures.

Revised Type I Procedure: 1) Proposed process includes two notices, a 14-day period to submit written comments, followed by staff's final decision, which will be subject to reconsideration or appeal. It was noted there is no review by the Planning Commission Hearings Board. Mr. Molnar stated the reconsideration process 1) adds the ability for someone to identify a "factual" error in the decision, 2) Reconsideration can be granted, and 3) New notice must be provided.

Type I Appeal Process: 1) Appeals would be heard by the Planning Commission or the Planning Commission Hearings Board, 2) It would be a "de novo" public hearing, 3) The Planning Commission recommended not to have appeal fees for public hearing, and 4) The Commission's decision would be final, and any further appeals would go to LUBA.

Type II Permit Procedures: Mr. Molnar explained these actions automatically require a public hearing and unlike Type I actions, cannot be approved administratively by the Planning Direction. He explained: 1) Some Type II permits have been changed to Type I, 2) They have added an Initial Evidentiary Hearing, 3) They have added a Reconsideration Process, and 4) They have changed the appeal to Council Procedures. Mr. Molnar clarified appeals of a Type II action would go to the Council, but would be on the record instead of "de novo". He also clarified Council could initiate a review of a Planning Commission decision, but not appeal it.

Type II Proposed Appeal Procedures: 1) Could be Council initiated (would be limited to on the record and no public testimony taken), or 2) Could be Applicant initiated (not subject to a public hearing and additional evidence). Mr. Molnar stated the Planning Commission is charged with routinely applying the facts to the relevant approval criteria and stated the proposed process de-politicizes land use decisions and encourages public input through citizen groups.

Ordinance Interpretations: Proposed procedures: 1) Includes a formal request for interpretation process, 2) Makes the Planning Director's decision final, unless the Planning Commission or City Council choose to review the decision, and 3) Planning Commission interpretations would be reviewed by the Council.

Mr. Molnar commented on the readability improvements that have been proposed, as well as the interpretation and internal consistency issues. He stated the standards that have been addressed are Accessory Residential Units, Density and MPFA in multi-family zones, Non-conforming uses and structures, Mechanical equipment, Tree Protection, Setbacks and Yards, Permit expiration, and North Mountain Zones. He added the following items were tabled by the Planning Commission subcommittee: Residential Ground Floor in C-1 and E-1 zones, Vision clearance, and Temporary storage. Planning Commission Chair John Stromberg noted that these tabled items were kept within the envelope of the original noticing, therefore they can bring forward any of these items without having to re-notice the entire town.

Mr. Molnar noted the packet information identifies technical corrections made to the Planning Commission's draft. He noted the Council Communication also identifies a proposed change under Type III planning actions, which are changes to the City's Zoning Map, Comprehensive Plan Map, Zoning text, Comprehensive Plan Map text, annexations and urban growth boundary changes. He stated that right now the Planning Commission is the final decision maker on changes to the Zoning Map and the Comprehensive Plan map; however, they feel the Council should be the final decision maker on these changes and for any changes to be adopted by ordinance.

Mr. Molnar clarified the new Procedures section identifies a list of conditional uses that are subject to the Planning Director's approval. He noted the main difference is those that involve an existing building can be approved by the Planning Director, whereas conditional uses that involve the construction of a new building require a public hearing.

Mr. Molnar clarified arterial setbacks were not addressed in the proposed amendments. He stated the Committee felt broader community discussion was needed and noted this item would be brought forward separately.

Comment was made questioning the financial impact the changes would have on citizens. Mr. Molnar stated the impact would be minimal. He noted the Planning Commission's recommendation for there to be no fee for many of the land use decisions done by the Planning Director and stated the costs to appeal before LUBA are similar to the fees to appeal before the City Council. He also clarified the noticing requirements and that the proposed change is for noticing to be provided before any decision is made and to allow 14 days for comments to be submitted.

Mr. Molnar commented on the reconsideration process and explained this was included to correct a clear factual error rather than requiring someone go through the entire appeal process to fix it. He also commented on "on the record" requests and stated the Council has some options as to how these will proceed. City Administrator Martha Bennett explained the ordinance is drafted so that anyone who appeals could request a partial de novo hearing. She stated the City Administrator's Office would make the decision on whether to allow new testimony, and clarified this decision would not be made by the Planning staff and could not be make by the Council without biasing the appeal.

City Attorney Richard Appicello commented on the fees and clarified the recommendation of the Planning Commission is for the fee to be set at zero dollars. He recommended the Council still identify this fee in the fee resolution, even if it is zero dollars.

Public Hearing Open: 8:20 p.m.

Art Bullock/Stated the proposed ordinance is a dramatic shift in power from elected officials to City staff and to appointed Planning Commissioners. He stated under this ordinance the Council would no longer have the power to reverse Planning Commission decisions and commented on the removal of the Council from Type I decisions. Mr. Bullock commented on evidentiary hearings, and stated the executive branch should not be given judicial or quasi-judicial authority. He also commented on the "on the record" restriction, and believes the Council should have the final decision and be allowed to conduct de novo hearings.

Steven Daneman/250 Sunnyview Street/Voiced support for allowing a 10% pervious surface standard that includes driveways. Mr. Daneman provided the following reasons why the 10% amount is a better solution: 1) it complies with the goal of reducing peak, 2) allowing the use of pervious surfaces for driveways would give property owners an alternative that would promote the beneficial and efficient use of their property while still controlling storm water runoff, 3) including driveways in the definition of pervious surfaces would have a beneficial impact in increasing the use of pervious concrete in general, and 4) the City could be put in the position of micro-managing the square footage of garden paths if the standard is set too low.

John Fields/845 Oak Street/Noted he is a Planning Commissioner and was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee. Mr. Fields stated one of the goals of the committee was to deal with the most obvious problems and not get into the large and controversial topics. He stated the Committee tried to focus on things that were meaningful, easily improved, and would make the ordinance more effective. He also noted that any procedural changes were done in an effort to get some leverage on staff time and public meeting time and to allow the Planning Commission time to work on policy issues. He voiced his support for what has been presented and stated it is a good package.

Public Hearing Closed: 8:30 p.m.

Mayor Morrison suggested this item be moved to New & Miscellaneous Business on the current agenda.

Councilor Jackson/Hardesty m/s to cancel the January 2, 2008 City Council Meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
Ambuja Rosen/Voiced support for an anti-tethering ordinance and commented on the spirits of animals.

Art Bullock/Commented on the legal services contract approved at the last Council meeting and the Parks Street Apartments case. He stated this was an unnecessary court case and the City lost the case due to malfeasance. He added that he and Mr. Lang intervened to protect the City treasury.

1. Does the Council wish to make appointments for the three vacancies on the Budget Committee for terms ending December 2010?
Mayor Morrison explained the guidelines the Council had agreed on to assist them in the selection process. He noted there are three positions available and listed the applicants.

Councilor Jackson noted this is an appointment made by the entire Council and commented on her desire for different perspectives and fresh experience on the Budget Committee. Council Silbiger voiced his support for a Budget Committee with fudiciary knowledge and members that can challenge the Council and staff's assumptions.

Mary Wooding/727 Park Street/Stated it is wonderful there is such a good selection of candidates and urged the Council to consider the applicants' qualifications and to not vote on a basis of bias.

Council cast their ballots for the Budget Committee positions. Mayor Morrison listed the results of the first round of voting as the following: Douma (6), Thompson (5), Slattery (4), Shaw (3), Laws (1), Lemhouse (1), Frey (1), Levine (0). Mayor Morrison stated since Allen Douma and Lynn Thompson received at least 5 votes each, they will be selected, and stated the Council would vote one more time to fill the last position.

Council cast their ballots for the remaining Budget Committee position. Mayor Morrison listed the results of the second round of voting as the following: Slattery (4), Frey (1), Shaw (2).

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to appoint Lynn Thompson, Allen Douma and Dennis Slattery to the Budget Committee. Roll Call Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.

2. Does the Council wish to adopt the Public Art Master Plan?
Mayor Morrison noted the Council had previously received a presentation on this item and noted the Council option's listed in the packet material.

Councilor Hardesty noted she is the liaison to the Public Arts Commission and stated she would like to propose a motion that addresses some of the concerns previously raised by Councilor Hartzell.

Councilor Hardesty/Silbiger m/s to approve the Public Art Master Plan with the following additions: 1) Staff should draft an ordinance that would incorporate the Policies and Procedures section in Appendix A, to be reviewed by the Public Arts Commission and subsequently approved by Council, 2) The first three lines of paragraph 4 on page 19 should be deleted and replaced with the following language: "Public Art should be located in areas where large numbers of people gather or pass through. This includes the downtown , high-use parks, and shopping areas throughout the City", and 3) The Public Arts Commission will return to the Council with proposed funding and project options in late February or early March. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty provided a brief explanation of her motion. She clarified the Policies and Procedures will come forward as an ordinance and stated any concerns regarding these can be reviewed by the Committee. Councilor Hardesty also clarified the Committee intends to have funding options in time for the Budget Committee meetings. Councilor Jackson suggested changing the second point of the motion to refer more generically to commercial areas and neighborhoods. Councior Hartzell voiced her hesitations about approving the motion.

Councilor Chapman/Hartzell m/s to amend motion to delete the second bullet point of the original motion, and modify the language on page 19 of the Public Art Master Plan, under Location of Public Art, to read "Public art should be located primarily where the greatest numbers of people gather. This includes downtown, commercial areas, and high use parks." Motion was withdrawn.

DISCUSSION (Continued on Original Motion): Councilor Chapman voiced his preference to replace the term "downtown core", located on page 19 of the Master Plan, with a broader description.

Councilor Chapman/Hartzell m/s to amend motion to substitute bullet #2, strike "in the downtown core" from the first sentence, and insert a second sentence that reads, "This includes downtown, commercial areas, and high use parks." DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman read aloud the entire paragraph as proposed to be modified (located on page 19 of the Public Art Master Plan): "Public art should be located primarily where the greatest numbers of people gather. This includes downtown, commercial areas, and high use parks. However efforts should be made to accommodate public art in other areas of the community as well. A process should be developed whereby neighborhoods can request public art in their area, participate in fund raising, and even develop the criteria for the art itself." Councior Hartzell voiced concern with the process mentioned in the last part of the statement. Roll Call Vote on Amendment: Councilor Hartzell, Chapman, Jackson, Navickas, Silbiger and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

DISCUSSION (Continued on Original Motion as Amended): Councilor Navickas voiced support for a dedicated funding stream for public art and noted he has concerns regarding the sign ordinance. Councilor Hartzell stated she supports the plan with the exception of the part regarding the sign ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson, Hardesty and Navickas, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

3. Does the Council wish to adopt the Gentle Person Agreement by resolution?
Councilor Hardesty commented on the suggested changes she submitted last night at the Study Session meeting. Regarding item #2, she proposed the following language be used instead, "Councilors should strive to make their questions effecient and to manage time."

Councilor Hartzell recommended item #4 of Hardesty's suggestions be modified to read, "When representing the Council at public agencies, Council should be clear about whether they are speaking for themselves or for the entire Council."

Councilor Hardesty/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2007-42 with the suggested changes submitted by Councilor Hardesty, dated December 16, 2007, including the amendment to item #2. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell stated the phrase "other public agencies" in item #4 does not make sense and suggested this be removed. Mayor Morrison suggested the wording "general public or public agencies...".

Councilor Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to amend item #4 to add the word "general" before "public" and striking the word "other" before "public agencies". Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.

Roll Call Vote on Amended Motion: Councilor Hardesty, Silbiger, Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson and Chapman, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

4. Should the Council finalize the last step of including within the Ashland City Limits approximately 8.4-acres of industrial and employment zoned land, by approving second reading of an ordinance formally annexing the property and withdrawing the property from Jackson County Fire District No. 5?
City Attorney Richard Appicello read the title of the ordinance aloud.

Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2946. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Hardesty, Navickas, Chapman and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

1. Will Council approve a special contract to expand the existing sanitary sewer service to serve a proposed building at the Willow Wind Educational Facility at 1497 East Main Street located outside the urban growth boundary?
Item was pulled from the agenda.
2. Does the Council wish to approve a resolution establishing a Public Records Policy?
City Recorder Barbara Christensen stated the proposed policy would bring the City into compliance with the new State requirement that takes effect on January 1, 2008. She explained the intent of the resolution is to adopt a policy that reflects the City's current practice for responding to public records requests. Ms. Christensen submitted a memo to the Council, which responds to the questions raised by Councilor Hartzell and voiced her support for Hartzell's suggested changes to Sections 9.a., 9.c., 10.b. and 10.e.

Councilor Hartzell questioned the language "significantly disrupt" in section 9.a. Councilor Silbiger suggested striking the sentence in Section 9.a. that reads "A request that is extraordinary and would significantly disrupt the regular discharge of duties will be charged whether copies are provided or not." He stated this sentence is not needed since the policy dictates that a citizen will be charged if the request involves more than 30 minutes of staff time.

City Attorney Richard Appicello commented on Section 9.b. and clarified that he does not redact text, but rather provides guidance to staff on what can and cannot be released. He stated staff does the best they can to be quick and not involve much attorney time.

Councilor Hartzell suggested changing "City Records Officer" located in Section 10.a. to "City Recorder". Ms. Christensen stated she does not support this change. Mr. Appicello suggested the City Administrator be given the authority to waive the fee instead. He also suggested it be up to the department head to decide whether a request is needed to "act in one's official capacity".

Mr. Appicello read the title of the resolution aloud.

Art Bullock/Stated the Council should not vote on this tonight because there are hidden issues that have not yet been discussed, including: staff costs, who controls the records, and charges for legal time. Mr. Bullock stated it is inappropriate to charge citizens large fees for records requests and recommended all emails be archived and saved on a central service.

Councilor Silbiger/Hartzell m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Silbiger, Hardesty and Chapman, YES. Councilor Navickas and Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

Ms. Christensen commented on the vast amount of information that is available to citizens via the City's website and noted the practice of placing documents on the website has dramatically decreased the number of records requests staff receives.

Mr. Appicello clarified the intent of the term "City Records Officer" is whoever the custodian of that particular record is. He suggested using "Department Head" in Section 10.a. and "Administrator" in Section 10.b. in order to clarify this.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2007-43 with the following changes: 1) Section 9.a. to read "Copies of documents provides by a routine a file search of 30 minutes or less will be charged at a copy rate established in the annual fee resolution.", 2) Section 9.c. to read "... and the requestor confirms in writing that he/she wants the City to proceed with making the records available.", 3) Section 10.b. to read "The City Administrator will review the waiver or reduction request...", 4) Section 10.e. becomes Section 10.c. and the following subsections adjusted accordingly, and 5) Section 9.a., delete the sentence "A request that is extraordinary and would significantly disrupt the regular discharge of duties will be charged wither copies are provided or not." DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas expressed concern with the public comment that large fees are being charged to citizens and stated there should be some kind of protection against excessive fees included in the resolution. Mr. Appicello clarified there is already a process for appeals and noted these are submitted to the District Attorney. Ms. Bennett commented on the benefit of the District Attorney making these decisions. She noted that citizens can appeal to the District Attorney free and voiced her support for appeals going to someone outside the City who does not have a vested interest in how the complaint is resolved.

Councilor Hartzell/Navickas m/s to amend motion to strike from Section 2.1. "if such request does not interfere with the regular discharge of duties". Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Jackson, Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell and Navickas, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Roll Call Vote on Amended Motion: Councilor Hardesty, Jackson, Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell, and Navickas, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

3. Does the Council wish to approve a resolution to establish fees for Public Records Requests?
Mayor Morrison noted no one signed up to speak on this item.

Councilors Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2007-44. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell asked if the copy rate included staff time and expressed concern with double-charging citizens. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Chapman, Hardesty and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Hartzell and Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

1. Does the Council wish to adopt the second reading of an ordinance approving Declaring the Approval of the Verde Village Development Agreement, including the attached development agreement, land use findings or real property exchange findings?
Mr. Appicello read the title of the ordinance aloud.

Ex Parte Contact
Councilors Hardesty, Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell, Navickas and Mayor Morrison declared no ex parte contact.

Councilor Jackson declared on two occasions she spoke by telephone with John Wheeler of RVCDC. She stated he sent her a copy of a letter he had written regarding the ability of the affordable units to comply with K.3. Jackson stated the substance of the conversation was regarding concerns about whether they will be able to install the solar hot water heater equipment. She added that staff has indicated that RVCDC will have an opportunity later in the process to amend this condition and stated her contact will not influence her decision.

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Ordinance #2945. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas voiced his disappointment with the project and shared his desire for the creek area to have been better addressed. He added that he does not believe the Council applied the facts to the law. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Hartzell, Navickas, Hardesty, Chapman and Jackson, YES. Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

2. Does the Council wish to adopt the second reading of an ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code 2.04 Rules of the City Council?
City Attorney Richard Appicello read the title of the ordinance aloud.

Councilor Jackson/Hardesty m/s to approve Ordinance #2947. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Chapman, Hardesty, Navickas, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

3. Should the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission and Staff, which implemented many of the changes described in Phase 1 of the Siegel report and proposes changes to the City's permitting and appeal procedures be approved?
City Attorney Richard Appicello recommended the record be left open for two weeks in order to accept written comments and to continue deliberations to the January 15, 2008 Council Meeting.

Councilor Hartzell suggested holding a special meeting to occur by March 31, 2008.

Councilor Chapman requested a list of the amendments that the Planning Commission closely debated.

Councilor Jackson/Hardesty m/s to leave public record open and continue this item to January 15, 2008. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Chapman, Hartzell, Silbiger, Navickas, and Jackson, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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