Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

February 5, 2008
Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
Councilors Hardesty, Jackson, Navickas, Hartzell, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
Mayor Morrison encouraged citizens interested in serving on a City Commission to contact the City Recorder's Office for information.
The minutes of the City Council Study Session of January 14, 2008, Special Meeting of January 14, 2008, Executive Session of January 15, 2008 and Regular Council Meeting of January 15, 2008 were approved as presented.
The Citizen's Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee presented an interim progress report to the Council. Committee Chair Pam Vavra stated the Committee's charge is to advise the City Council on matters relating to the Ashland Public Library and she elaborated on their specific duties. Ms. Vavra stated the Committee's recommendations are to: 1) Extend the local library option levy for four years through fiscal year 2012/13, 2) Request voter approval in November 2008, and 3) For the dollar amount recommended in June be based on the community assessment of services levels, other funds available, and possible additional information.

Ms. Vavra stated their next steps include conducting public forums and assessing the input, establishing a plan for evaluating the library services, and establishing a plan for pursuing various long-term governance and funding options.

Comment was made questioning how the Committee would determine the next tax rate. Ms. Vavra stated they do not know the rate at this time and it will depend on the funding available and the level of service the community wants.

Ms. Vavra provided a brief explanation of the "federation of libraries" concept.

1. Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Will the City Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, consent to enter into a public contract with IKON Office Solutions for a 48-month copier rental?
3. Does the Council approve the engineering services contract with Hatch Energy for $100,660 for independent inspection services required at Hosler Dam to meet Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dam safety regulations?
4. Does the Council approve the engineering services contract Amendment #2 with Brown and Caldwell for $73,000 for engineering services to improve water quality at Reeder Reservoir?
5. Will the Council approve the 2008 Council liaison appointments to City boards and commissions, to be effective immediately?
6. Does the Council wish to apply for Federal appropriations for 2009?
7. Should Council accept the quarterly report as presented?
8. Should Council approve revisions to the agreement documents between the City and Brammo Motorsports, LLC, for the financing and construction of the Jefferson Street extension project?
9. Should the Council reset the date of the continued SDC appeal hearing to March 4, 2008 and notify the appellant of the revised date?
Consent Agenda items #4 and #6 were pulled for discussion.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1, #2, #3, #5, #7, #8 and #9. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.

Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson addressed the amended contract with Brown & Caldwell for engineering services to improve water quality at Reeder Reservoir. He clarified the two solar powered recirculation units will be utilized to improve the taste and smell of the water. He also noted these units would be rented initially so that the City can test their efficiency. Mr. Olson briefly commented on the blue/green algae problem and noted one of the goals of the Brown & Caldwell study is to identify the sources and impact of the silt on the water quality.

Councilor Jackson spoke regarding the Federal Appropriations item and stated her support for the staff recommendation.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #4 and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. Will Council approve the resolution authorizing and ordering the improvement of Liberty Street by formation of a Local Improvement District?
Mayor Morrison called the public hearing to order at 7:36 p.m.

Ex Parte Contacts
Mayor Morrison and Councilors Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell and Hardesty reported no ex parte contact. Councilor Navickas indicated he formerly lived on Pract Street, which is off of Liberty Street. Councilor Jackson stated she conducted a site visit.

It was noted that no bias challenges were submitted.

Staff Report
Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson presented the staff report. He noted the affected owners of the proposed alley improvement have requested that the public hearing be delayed in order to allow consideration by the Traffic Safety Commission of a one-way traffic designation. Mr. Olson commented on the Liberty Street improvements and explained 68% of the property owners submitted a petition requesting a hearing for the formation of a local improvement district. He noted a portion of the roadway is severely constrained with mature trees and it is recommended that sidewalks be eliminated from this section. Mr. Olson provided a brief explanation of the project costs. He noted the benefits of these types of improvement projects and stated staff's recommendation is to approve the formation of the Liberty Street local improvement district.

Those Wishing to Speak:
Richard Hay/707 Liberty Street/Stated the storm drainage at the crest of unimproved Liberty Street is not provided for and the runoff is a hazard. He requested the Council approve the formation of this local improvement district.

Gary Afseth/695 Liberty Street/Voiced support for the formation of the Liberty Street LID and shared his concerns regarding water runoff, air quality, and on-street parking.

David Seulean/696 Liberty Street/Noted the runoff that flows onto his property and explained he has sandbags placed in front of his home in order to divert the flow into the street. Mr. Seulean voiced his support for the LID and stated the street needs to have curbs and gutters to direct the water to the stormdrain system.

Steve Sincerny/790 Liberty Street/Stated it is cheaper for the homeowners and the City to do this project at this time because the cost will continue to rise. He also noted his concerns regarding dust and the parking situation.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:59 p.m.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2008-02. DISCUSSION: Mr. Olson clarified they would likely be able to include a modified turnaround at the south end of the road. Councilor Hardesty expressed concerns regarding the project and suggested they postpone this LID until after the City's LID policy is examined. Mr. Olson clarified this project would not be completed until the 2009 budget cycle and stated they will only have minor engineering costs in this budget year. He commented that this project is high on the department's prioritization list primarily due to the slope and the runoff problems. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Silbiger, Hartzell, Jackson and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hardesty, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Does the Council have any revisions to the draft findings and orders pertaining to the formation of the Liberty Street Local Improvement District?

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the findings and orders for the Liberty Street LID. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Navickas, Hardesty, Hartzell and Jackson, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Will Council approve the resolution establishing a new date of March 18, 2008 for a Public Hearing to consider the formation of a Local Improvement District to improve the alley between Harrison and Morton Streets?

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2008-03. DISCUSSION: Mr. Olson clarified that traffic issues are usually addressed during the design process, but in this case it is being addressed prior to the formation of the LID. He stated if the Traffic Safety Commission approves the one-way designation with speed bumps, the owners who have opposed the LID have indicated they would support the project. He added this issue would be brought before the Traffic Safety Commission prior to staff returning to Council for the public hearing. Comment was made expressing concern with the proposed hearing date. City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified the residents of the alley petitioned under the existing policy and the City would have to apply the existing policy regardless of the public hearing date. She added that the Council still has the option to hold the hearing, but deny the formation of the LID. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Jackson, Chapman, Navickas, Hardesty and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Philip Lang/758 B Street/
Shared concerns regarding the proposed historic preservation levy and commented on the affect these taxes are having on affordable housing.

Mayor Morrison stated the tax Mr. Lang is speaking to is not a City tax and clarified the City granted permission for the Rogue Valley Heritage District to place this issue before the Ashland voters in November.

Kathy Ettinger/1584 Jasmine Avenue, Medford/Voiced opposition to Ambuja Rosen's anti-tethering ordinance.

Hal Cloer/815 Creek Stone Way/Presented material to the Council on the Charter Review process and Measure 15-76 and requested that it be placed in the public record.

1. Is the Council interested in negotiating a cooperative agreement with Jackson County to provide for the voluntary transfer of residential development rights (transferable development credits) from approved Jackson County Measure 49 claims to City of Ashland designated receptor zones?
City Attorney Richard Appicello explained Measure 49 allows for the transfer of development credits from one jurisdiction to another. He stated this Measure allows the City to enter into a cooperative agreement with Jackson County and provides the City opportunity to affect development outside its boundaries. Mr. Appicello stated staff recommends that the Council allow them to explore an agreement with the County. He added that if Council is interested, staff would take this issue to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Appicello clarified the first step is for the City to express interest. The Council would then designate areas where they feel increased density is appropriate and determine the parameters under which that increased density would be used. He added at this point staff just needs to know whether Council is interested in pursuing this option.

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to accept the staff recommendation to explore an Intergovernmental Agreement with the County concerning Measure 49 transfer of development credits. DISCUSSION: Councilors Chapman and Silbiger voiced support for exploring this option. Councilor Navickas shared concerns and stated this may result in unforeseen problems.

Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to amend motion to include a Study Session on this subject where choices are articulated and discussed in order to give clear direction to Staff. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Chapman, Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell, Navickas, and Jackson, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

DISCUSSION Continued on motion as amended: Councilor Jackson stated she is also skeptical, but believes this is a concept worth pursuing. Councilor Hardesty voiced support for the Study Session and stated this would help them to better understand.

Roll Call Vote on motion as amended: Councilors Chapman, Hardesty, Silbiger, Hartzell and Jackson, YES. Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

1. Does the Council wish to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Jackson County and Rogue Valley Transit District for a park and ride facility at the north entrance to Ashland?
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer noted a revised Memorandum of Understanding was handed out to the Council at the beginning of the meeting. City Attorney Richard Appicello indicated the primary change was in reference to a lease agreement with RVTD instead of long-term ownership. Ms. Seltzer clarified the size of the property is just under one acre.

Councilor Hartzell questioned what would happen if RVTD dissolved or morphed into another transportation district. City Administrator Martha Bennett stated it would revert to Jackson Co. since they would own the underlying property and then the Federal grant restrictions would likely control what happens to the property. Councilor Hartzell requested this issue get incorporated into the discussions with the County and RVTD.

Gerry Lehrburger/1639 Jackson Road/Stated he owns the property RVTD and Jackson Co. have proposed and stated he was just recently notified of their intent. Mr. Lehrburger questioned if the taking of private land is necessary since ODOT owns property right next to his. He stated the ODOT property is over 1-acre in size, already serves as RVTD bus stop locations, and has ample room for the 80 parking spaces. Mr. Lehrburger questioned the non-economic determination of Jackson Co. and RVTD's proposed site and noted there are other locations that may also be suitable.

Ms. Seltzer clarified the land identified by Jackson Co. and RVTD belongs to Mr. Lehrburger and the County has indicated to staff that they indent on purchasing the land from him. She noted the federal funds for this project must be obligated by August of this year, which means the land purchase needs to occur by May or June. It was clarified if these funds are not obligated, the money would go back to the federal government.

Ms. Seltzer clarified this is a decision between Jackson County, ODOT and RVTD and noted that many field trips were done to assess the various sites. She commented on the County's proposal to construct a connecting road from Highway 99 to Jackson Road and stated they would need to purchase this property to do so. City Administrator Martha Bennett stated the City does not have any control over the County's decision to punch a road trough. She added that it is her understanding that the County is going to install this road regardless of the Park and Ride.

Councilor Hartzell requested some history on what other properties were considered and why they were not selected. She stated she supports the Park and Ride, but is not comfortable making this decision at this time.

Mr. Appicello stated this item is before Council because staff was informed that the County would not acquire the property until they had a MOU from the City. Mayor Morrison commented that there are a number of traffic problems that need to be addressed at this location and believes that the County is trying to resolve these issues and provide a Park and Ride at the same time.

Suggestion was made for this to come back to Council in two weeks so that they can get more information, including what level of analysis has been done on the possibility of using the Park and Ride for more than just parking cars, how much land the County is requiring for its road design, and the process for acquisition.

Comment was made questioning if an MOU would put the County in a better position to argue imminent domain. Mr. Appicello stated the MOU would not have any bearing on the land acquisition. It was added that the County would have to adhere to the property acquisition guidelines under FHA.

Council consensus was to bring this back in two weeks in order to allow for additional information to be presented to the Council.

1. Does the Council approve first reading of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance amending Chapter 18 of the Ashland Municipal Code, for Revisions to Measure 37 Claims Ordinance to address the adoption of Measure 49"?
City Attorney Richard Appicello stated this ordinance was prepared in order to address the change from Measure 37 to Measure 49. He explained the proposed ordinance gives the City Adminsitrator the ability to make determinations on claims, however if the City Administrator believes compensation may be warranted or transfer development rights awarded in lieu of compensation, then that decision would have to be referred to the City Council.

Councilor Jackson/Hardesty m/s to approve first reading of Ordinance and place on agenda for second reading. DISCUSSION: Mr. Appicello read the title of the ordinance aloud. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Hardesty, Silbiger, Jackson, Hartzell and Navickas, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

2. Should the Council conduct first reading of an Ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 18 of the Ashland Municipal Code, providing for revisions to definitions and zoning district classifications, providing for revisions to conditional use standards and general regulations for the following zoning districts: woodland residential, rural residential, single family residential, suburban residential, low density multi-family residential, high density multi family residential, North Mountain neighborhood, retail commercial, employment, industrial, health care services and Southern Oregon University; providing for revisions to chapters for tree preservation and protection, physical and environmental contraints, general regulations, site design review, partitions, performance standards option, parking, signage, procedures and enforcement, providing also for corrections to and adoption of official maps, including zoning and overlay maps in digital format"?
City Attorney Richard Appicello submitted revised text suggestions for the ordinance. He commented on the revised language that addresses first reconsideration and explained if new evidence material to the decision exists, which was unavailable through no fault of the requesting party when the record of the proceeding was open, then the requesting party could ask for reconsideration. He stated another way to receive reconsideration is if a procedural error occurred that prejudiced the requesting party's substantial rights. Mr. Appicello noted the revision to extend the deadline for reconsideration requests to be received from 5 to 7 days. He also noted the provisions for oral arguments and stated the primary theme of these changes are to make sure there is ample opportunity for the Planning Commission to hear all of the relevant facts.

It was clarified the term "staff advisor" is defined as the Community Development Director and these two terms are interchangeable.

Council briefly offered their feedback on the proposed changes and requested further time to digest the ordinance. Mayor Morrison requested the Council prepare specific suggestions to address any concerns they may have.

1. Presentation on Mount Ashland Association Wastewater Plant.
Item delayed due to time constraints.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

_________________________________ _______________________________

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John W. Morrison, Mayor

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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