Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, February 04, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Councilors Hardesty, Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson, Navickas, and Hartzell were present.
1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead. She noted there is an Executive Session meeting scheduled for February 12, 2008 and the Budget Committee meeting was rescheduled to February 13, 2008.
2. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for February 5, 2008.

Federal Appropriations
Councilor Jackson noted that Senator Wyden is preparing legislation that will help fund aspects of forest health projects like Ashland's Fire Resiliency Project, and stated that it is important for the City to stay on top of this issue in order to respond at the appropriate time.

Liberty Street Local Improvement District
Councilor Hardesty noted the November 5, 2007 Study Session regarding Local Improvement Districts and questioned if the percentage methodology had been reviewed as requested at that meeting. Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson indicated that no changes have been made at this point and stated that this may need to be discussed further with Council. It was noted that due to the timing of this proposed LID, the "old rules" would have applied regardless of any changes that could have been made.

Transfer of Development Credits
City Attorney Richard Appicello clarified staff is asking whether Council is interested in setting up a TDC program and entering into an intergovernmental agreement with Jackson County. He stated that Council would have the ability set the parameters of such a program and cited examples. He clarified that at this point staff just needs to know if Council is interested in pursuing this.

RVTD Park & Ride Facility
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer clarified the federal grant is not tied to the location. She also clarified the Memorandum of Understanding presented for approval specifically identifies the property Jackson County is interested in.

Revisions to Measure 37 Claims Ordinance
Mr. Appicello clarified the proposed ordinance is necessary to address the change from Measure 37 to Measure 49.

3. Planning Commission 2008-2009 Draft Goals Discussion.
The Ashland Planning Commission came forward and Planning Chair John Stromberg indicated their interest in speaking with the Council about the delegation of responsibilities. He stated the Commission's key questions are:

1) Does the Council want the Planning Commission to have a role in the community visioning process?
2) Does the Council want the Planning Commission to set their own goals, or do they want the Commission to follow Council goals?
3) Does the Council feel comfortable with the Planning Commission initiating the process of legislative change?

Council briefly shared their input in regards to these questions. Councilor Jackson stated one of the reasons Council did not list the Land Use Code revision as one of their goals was because they expected the Planning Commission and staff to continue working on this. She suggested the Planning Commission's goals be refreshed prior to the Council's goal setting and stated she believes the visioning process should be handled separate from the Comprehensive Plan. Councilor Navickas commented that it is a councilor's duty to bring forward concerns of citizens, and the commissioners should understand that when a councilor does this they are representing themselves and not the entire Council. He also stated the Planning Commission acts in an advisory role to the Council and it is important for them to think objectively. Councilor Chapman stated it is important for the Planning Commission goals to support the Council goals. Councilor Hardesty voiced support for the Planning Commission making improvements to the land use process as long as the Council is kept informed. Mayor Morrison commented on the importance of the Council, staff, and the Planning Commission working together.

Several Planning Commissioners addressed the Council.

Commissioner John Fields commented on the desire to create a more efficient way to move information from the commission level to the Council. He also commented on the Commission's burden of sorting through the layers and layers of City ordinances, and stated that because of this, their decisions have become more complicated. He noted the need to find a way to sort out the content and their purpose.

Commissioner Olena Black commented on the desire to be more involved with community development. She also commented on the Council liaison position and stated this individual plays an important role in transferring information back and forth between the Commission and the Council. Ms. Black added her frustration that the Council goals were not communicated to them.

Suggestion was made for the Council liaison to provide clarification of the goals during a Planning Commission meeting.

Commissioner Pam Marsh noted the Commission's expertise is in land use and stated they need to be empowered and trusted in order to do properly do their job. She also requested the Council provide direction as a whole, rather than individual councilors lobbying the Commission members.

Commissioner Michael Morris commented on visioning and requested more goals and direction from Council. He stated that commissioners look to staff, and staff is looking to Council, and this is what is missing for them to make effective decisions.

Commissioner Michael Dawkins noted the Council's denial of the Downtown Plan, and stated this was not the first time something like this happened. He also commented on the Commission being more of a conduit from the community.

Commissioner Dotterrer stated that almost everything the Council does has an impact on the Planning Commission. He expressed the desire to be more involved with the larger planning issues, and becoming more of a conduit between the citizens and the Council. Mr. Dotterrer requested the Council be clearer on what they want the Planning Commission to be working on.

Several councilors commented that more sessions like this one would be beneficial.

4. Does the Council wish to schedule first reading of a proposed ordinance to revise AMC Chapter 2.12, which governs the Planning Commission?
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the revisions are listed in the Council Communication and questioned whether Council wants staff to schedule this item for action. She noted the Planning Commission has expressed concern that the modified language waters down their authority.

Council requested the Planning Commission provide their input to the proposed ordinance and directed staff to schedule the ordinance for first reading.

Meeting adjourned at 7:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder

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