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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, February 04, 2008



February 4, 2008


CALL TO ORDER –Chair Laurie Sager called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on February 4, 2008 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.


Commissioners Present

Council Liaison

Laurie Sager

Russ Silbiger, Absent

Kelly Cruser


John Rinaldi Jr.

Staff Present

Zane Jones

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner


Anne Rich, Parks Department





November 8, 2007 Tree Commission Minutes - Rinaldi/Jones m/s to approve the minutes of November 8, 2007. Voice vote:  all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of November 8, 2007 were approved as presented. 



None present




SUBJECT PROPERTY: 172 Skidmore St.

APPLICANT:  Urban Development Services, LLC

DESCRIPTION:  Request for a Conditional Use Permit and Site Review to construct two bathroom additions totaling 115 square feet within the required setback to a historic, legal non-conforming multi-family residential development located at 172 Skidmore Street. The application includes a request for a Variance to the requirement of Section 18.92.070 that the off-street parking be paved and an Administrative Variance to Site Design and Use Standards to allow for parking between the building and the street.   COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  High Density Residential; ZONING: R-3-; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 391E05DD; TAX LOT: 1000


Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Site visits by Rinaldi, Sager, Jones and Rich. 


Amy reviewed the staff report and explained the project. 


The Commission discussed the application and the variance request to not pave the parking area adjacent to the alley due to the proximity of the parking areas and a tree on this site and a tree on the neighbor’s property. The Commission felt that the paving could potentially harm the tree and they gave their support to the applicants request to not pave the parking area.


Applicant testimony None present.



      1) Tree Commission supports the Variance request to not pave the parking area in the vicinity of the trees as the paving will only hasten the decline of the trees.



PLANNING ACTION #: PA-2007-01941   

SUBJECT PROPERTY:  1070 Tolman Creek Rd

APPLICANT:  OgdenRoemerWilkerson Architecture AIA

DESCRIPTION: A request for Site Review approval to construct an approximately 52,163 square foot elementary school on the Bellview School site located at 1070 Tolman Creek Road.  The application proposes partial demolition of the existing buildings and construction of a new 42,678 square foot elementary school facility.  The 9,485 square foot original Bellview School building (circa 1929) is to be retained and renovated as part of the proposal.  Also included are requests for a Variance to the required number of bicycle parking spaces to allow 33 bicycle parking spaces where 68 spaces are required; and Tree Removal Permits to remove three Oak trees and one Sequoia greater than 18-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.).  The application includes the removal of six smaller trees; because these six trees are less than 18-inches (d.b.h.) and located on public school property they do not require Tree Removal Permits.  [The Planning Director has determined the proposal is not subject to the Development Standards for Floodplain Corridor Lands because the applicants have provided a survey establishing the floodplain boundary as outside of the proposed area of disturbance.]  MAP: 39 1E 14 CA; TAX LOT #: 4700; ZONING: R-1-5; COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential


Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Site visits by Rinaldi, Sager, Jones and Rich. 


Amy gave the staff report and read the conditions of approval pertaining to trees, tree protection and landscaping.


Applicant testimony Greg Covey and Heather Armstrong from Pardee/Covey Landscape Architects and David Wilkerson from Ogden/Romer/Wilkerson Architecture were present to represent the applicants, Ashland School District. The applicants explained the constraints of the site which lead to the proposed layout for the addition to the Bellview School. They stated that there are a number of site constraints, such as the existing, historic 1920s building, the floodplain, bad soils, Oregon Department of Transportation requirements and the City’s Site Design and Use Standards. Neighbors to the north of the project requested that the grove of Sequoias along the northern property line be saved. The trees were initially proposed for removal but at this point one tree will be removed and the others will be retained. They discussed the proposed school bus loop off of Siskiyou Blvd. on the south side of the project site. There are a number of trees that will be impacted by the proposed development. The applicants showed the commission some civil changes that were made between the time the commission received their packets and the meeting. An additional tree is going to be removed since the sidewalk that was originally proposed to stop half way around the loop will be continued to connect to Siskiyou Blvd.


Commission Discussion – Commissioner Rinaldi asked about tree mitigation and whether the trees that do not require permit for removal will be mitigated. Amy explained that since the trees are not subject to the requirements of the land use ordinance conditions cannot be imposed beyond what is required by code. The trees that are subject to the tree removal permit process will be mitigated for on-site. The Commission expressed an interest in having the applicant provide more clear information regarding how many tree will be mitigated for on-site. The Commission discussed grade changes in the area of the bus loop and expressed concerns with the amount of cuts in the area of the large trees adjacent to the bus loop. The applicant indicated a willingness to work with the Civil Engineers for the project on how to minimize cuts in the areas of the significant tree roots. Commissioner Jones stated the removal of the curbing on the S. side of the bus loop is a good plan and will help with trees have fewer impacts from excavation and concrete pouring. The Tree Commission expressed concern about the retention of the Sequoias due to their location under the overhead power lines and the improper pruning they have received over the years. The Commission understands that the trees will be retained for the privacy screening they provide the neighbors.  The tree Commission supports the applicant’s proposal for hiring a certified arborist prior to construction.



        1) The Tree Commission supports the applicant’s proposal to remove the curb along the south side of the future bus loop.

        2)     The Tree Commission recommends and supports the applicant’s further exploration of innovative techniques to preserve additional root systems and minimize cuts in the root zones of the significant trees identified by the Arborist near the future bus loop. 



PLANNING ACTION #: PA-2008-00053

SUBJECT PROPERTY:  201 Mountain Av S

APPLICANT:  Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture AIA / School District #5

DESCRIPTION:  A request for Site Review approval to construct an approximately 19,375 square foot auxiliary gym and music suite addition on the Ashland High School campus located at 201 South Mountain Avenue.  The application proposes demolition of the existing 10,800 square foot auxiliary gym building and of the 5,600 square foot music suite; renovation of the 22,024 square foot main gym building; and a reconfiguration of the parking area located to the east of the existing gym building.  The application also requires a Variance to the required sideyard setback along South Mountain Avenue; the applicants propose to construct a ramp, stairs and landings to the property line where a minimum ten-foot sideyard setback is required.  MAP: 39 1E 09DA & 09AD TAX LOTS #:100 and 6200; ZONING: R-2; COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low-Density Multi-Family Residential


Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Site visits by Rinaldi, Sager, Jones and Rich. 


Amy gave the staff report and read conditions of approval pertaining to trees, tree protection and landscaping. This project is recommended for continuance at the Planning Commission meeting.  


Applicant testimony – The applicant explained the issues that Amy addressed from the staff report. The applicant spoke about the desire to increase the street presence of the Mountain Avenue side of the high school and grade change issues from the finished floor of the new gym and the sidewalk on Mountain. The applicant had not intended on removing the Elm tree at the northeast corner of the gym but said that if the commission felt it was necessary they could remove it. The applicant also stated that the new proposed landscaping plan will have street trees added. The plan was available for the Commission review. Armstrong Maples are proposed for the street trees. They are very columnar and grow upright.


Commission Discussion – The Commissioners expressed their concern about the Elm tree and that with the existing site conditions the tree could become an issue since the Elm trees grow very fast, and are a weak wood tree and may need to be removed in the near future. The Commission decided to recommend removal with on-site mitigation.  



       1) Tree Commission recommends the applicant consider removal of the Elm tree at the Northeast corner of the gym building due to the invasive growth pattern of this type of tree. The tree removal shall be mitigated on-site.

        2)     The Tree Commission supports the applicants revised landscaping plans.




Type 1 Review Sign-Ups  

March 6th Rinaldi/Sager

April 3rd Sager/Cruser

May 8th Cruser/Jones

June 5th Jones/Rinaldi




Quorum Issue

The Commission expressed concern with the lack of quorum issues they have been having and it was decided that if a Tree Commissioner cannot attend the regularly scheduled meeting that a new meeting would be called so that planning actions do not move forward without the Tree Commission review. Amy explained the history and proposed changes to Chapter 2.25 which is the Tree Commission powers and duties chapter of the Municipal Code. The proposed changes include changing the number of commissioners from 7 to 5. The Commissioners preferred language regarding ‘five to seven commissioners as determined by the City Council.’ Amy also explained the language added by the City Attorney pertaining to when an application is not heard at a Tree Commission meeting that does not invalidate the planning action. Also language was added pertaining to ‘donations of property’ regarding that donations are not made to the Commission but to the ‘City’ by approval of the City Council. Amy will pass the Commissions concerns regarding not having enough members along to the City Attorney and let the commission know what their stance is on changing the number of Commissioners.

Amy also addressed the proposed resolutions that were passed onto the City Attorney for his review and City Council adoption. She will provide a copy of the proposed resolutions in the March packet. 



Distinctive Tree List (findings from ground truthing)

Zane took everyone’s review of the previous distinctive tree lists and will be consolidating the lists, adding, removing, etc., and an updated list will provided for the March meeting. 



Revision of Street Tree Guide (Next steps)

The Tree Commission had previously expressed interest in adding notes to the Street Tree Guide that designates trees as a ‘good for small spaces’ or other designations but staff feels that it would be best to not dilute the guide and that there are a number of other resources for landscaping information. The Commission decided that at this point they will focus on the Distinctive Tree list and that the Street Tree Guide will be worked on once the Distinctive List is completed. 




Liaison Reports

Ann Rich explained the Parks and Recreation Department tree removal report. The annual report is required under 18.61. The majority of the trees in the report are storm damaged trees that needed removal or major pruning. Thirty five trees were removed and the majority of the trees in the report were less than 18” in diameter at breast height. The report also includes all tree removals in Ashland Parks as well as at the schools, and dead trees.







Arbor Week/Day Planning

The Mayor will read the proclamation of Arbor Week on April 1, 2008 at the City Council meeting, held at Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. 

The Tree Commission expressed interest in doing the Tree of the Year plaque installation and the ceremonial tree planting on the same day so that the ‘events’ are combined.


Earth Day Event The Commissioners agreed to do a booth again this year.  The booth is a exposure for the Tree Commission for people that are not ‘seeking out’ the Tree Commission.  It is also a good recruiting tool.  They will offer an activity for the children; Commissioner Rinaldi suggested a ‘mystery box’ of tree parts for kids to guess which part they have felt in the box. The Commission also thought it would be good to have the ‘Distinctive Tree List’ and map ready for that day. The Tree Commission approved a $30.00 donation to the Earth Day event to become a Community Partner.


Current Balance - $518.24



ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Sager adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner



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