Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 19, 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.
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
Mayor Morrison announced that this is the annual appointment period and the deadline for citizens to apply to a City commission, committee or board is March 11, 2008.
The Study Session minutes of February 4, 2008, Special Meeting minutes of February 4, 2008 and Regular Council Meeting minutes of February 5, 2008 were approved as presented.
Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to elect Councilor Chapman as 2008 Council President. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
1. Mayor's Proclamation of Peace Corps Week.
Proclamation was read aloud by Councilor Hardesty.
2. Mayor's Proclamation of Rotary Day.
Proclamation was read aloud by Mayor Morrison. The Ashland Rotary Club and Lithia Springs Rotary Club expressed their appreciation for this recognition.
3. Presentation by the Housing Commission.
Housing Commission Chair William Smith and commissioners Regina Ayars (member for 1 year), Richard Billin (member for 1 year), Graham Lewis (member for 5 months), and Aaron Benjamin (member for 2 years) addressed the Council. Mr. Lewis presented the commission's goals as the following: 1) Work collaboratively with the Council to identify land owned by the City to accommodate housing for City employees, 2) Establish a Housing Trust Fund, and 3) Review and complete ordinance amendments for zoning and annexation changes for workforce and affordable housing. A brief explanation was provided on the Housing Trust Fund as well as projects completed by the commission.
4. Does the Council wish to adopt a resolution in support of SB 1073?
Councilor Hartzell briefed the Council on the background of SB 1073. She requested Recital F in the proposed resolution be amended to read, "Ashland is a partner in the Jackson County Task Force developing a 10-Year Plan to end chronic homelessness and we are also a member of the Housing Alliance."

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2008-04 with the addition of the housing alliance language outlined by Councilor Hartzell. DISCUSSION: Comment was made that the $2 million to seed a revolving loan fund was most important and the $750,000 to develop strategies was not as critical. Suggestion was made for copies of this resolution to be sent to the State legislators. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.

5. Does the Council have any questions for the Oregon Department of Transportation about the proposed Siskiyou Visitor Information Center to be constructed off the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 at mile point 12?
Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson stated that representatives of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Siskiyou Rest Area Development Team have been invited to give information on the proposed 1-5 Visitors Information Center.

ODOT Representatives Art Anderson, Tim Fletcher, and Shirley Roberts addressed the Council.

Mr. Anderson explained the former Siskiyou Rest Area was closed in the 1990's mainly because of safety problems and noted there were a few serious accidents that occurred, including one fatality. He stated since that time there have been several attempts to get a new rest area and welcome center in this area.

Mr. Fletcher provided a description of the proposed rest area and visitors center. He commented on the lighting and stated lights would be no taller than 30 ft. and would be directed downward. He also commented on noise and stated this was evaluated and it was determined that any increase would be due to higher traffic levels on the interstate and not the proposed facility. Mr. Fletcher clarified truck drivers would be directed to the Port of Entry and there is a separate project to construct restroom facilities at that location.

Councilor Hardesty voiced her agreement with Mr. Fletcher's assessment of the noise and stated the interaction of the tires and the interstate is the major source of noise and the starting and stopping of vehicles was not a major concern.

Comment was made suggesting the facility use Dark Sky certified lighting.

Mr. Anderson commented on the facility's operating hours and explained the rest area portion would be open 24 hours and only closed for cleaning. Regarding the welcome center, he stated the Tourism and Travel organizations would staff this portion of the facility and would likely have staff available during normal business hours, however this may vary based on the time of year. Mr. Anderson noted a portion of the welcome center would occupied by the Oregon State Police.

A sketch of the floor plan was reviewed and an artists rendering of the proposed structure was presented. Clarification was made that the look out tower was included for architectural reason and individuals would not be able to go to the top.

Mayor Morrison noted a letter was received from a citizen voicing concerns about vehicle acceleration and deceleration and the noise of un-muffled compression brakes. Mr. Anderson provided an explanation of the ramp profile and how vehicles would enter the interstate.

Ms. Roberts provided an update on where they are at in the planning process. She stated there is a hearing scheduled for February 28, 2008 at 9 a.m. before the Jackson County Planning Commission and explained after the County Planning Commission has reviewed the proposal it will go before the Board of County Commissioners. She indicated they expect this process to be completed by early summer and clarified the public will be able to provide comment at the hearing on February 28.

Ms. Roberts commented on the landscaping plan and noted that for security purposes, it is preferred to have a more open site. She stated the trees included in the plan are ornamental in nature and would not have a lot of foliage. She added putting trees along the highway right of way could be a hazard for vehicles. Ms. Roberts clarified included trees behind the facility to shield the farm use area is a possibility. She acknowledged that there are certain goals that need to be met and the design could change as it moves through the planning process.

Mr. Anderson listed several measures that will help to mitigate crime at the facility, including: 1) the presence of an Oregon State police officer, 2) maintenance workers will patrol the site, 3) lighting will be placed to ensure the facility is well lit, 4) fencing will be placed around the facility and an additional fence will be placed to separate the staff parking area, 5) vegetation will be up off the ground, and 6) they are considering the use of closed circuit television monitors.

Dan Folliard/1032 Oak Knoll Drive/Shared his concerns regarding the sewer system, the paving of wetlands, decibel levels, compression brakes, and crime. He stated there are no other rest areas along Interstate 5 that are as close to a residential neighborhood as the one being proposed. Mr. Folliard clarified the neighborhood would be interested in a noise barrier.

William Smith/1131 Barrington Circle/Voiced concern with the safety of his neighborhood asked that this issue be seriously considered. He added that he does not want this traffic in his neighborhood.

1. Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Does the Council wish to allow a correction to the term limit expiration dates for Pam Marsh and Michael Morris for the Planning Commission?
3. Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Linda Goldfarb dba Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub at 23 S. Second Street?
4. Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Patrick Couchman dba Siskiyou Pub LLC at 31 B Water Street?
5. Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Steve Holt & Lynne Galligan dba neighborhood Gourmet Partners, Inc at 115 E Main Street (Allyson's Kitchen)?
6. Does the Council wish to approve the sale and subsequent transfer/assignment of rights of Ashland Home Net to Jim Teece and Dena Matthews as required by the CATV lease and the ISP contract?
Councilor Hardesty/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
Ambuja Rosen/
Read statement from Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness regarding the proposed animal tethering ordinance.
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 Anaylist Ann Seltzer noted Paige Townsend with Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) and Dale Petrasek from Jackson County Roads & Parks were present to answer any questions Council may have. Ms. Seltzer noted the information contained in the packet materials address the questions raised by Council at their last meeting.

Mr. Petrasek clarified the term "un-economic remainder" and noted in this instance the un-economic remainder is .6 acres. He also addressed the issue of the wellhead and stated if it is determined that there is a well on the property they have several options, including: 1) replacing the well, 2) purchasing it outright, or 3) issuing a permit for long term use and keeping it on the site.

Ms. Seltzer provided clarification on what the City's financial responsibility would be. She indicated the payments that RVTD would be making to the County for the long term lease would serve as the local match and satisfy the FTA requirement. She added the City has allocated $30,000 for this project in the Capital Improvement Plan.

Ms. Townsend commented on parking enforcement and stated permitted is one option that could be used. She stated they may not need to enforce to this extent at the Park & Ride and noted they could address any problems that arise in the future. Ms. Townsend acknowledged there may be some shared use, but does not think overflow parking from the destination adjacent to this lot is an issue. She noted the Park and Ride lot may also be used for farmers market or other RVTD events.

Comment was made expressing concern about whether this facility would be used. Ms. Seltzer clarified this goal is listed in the City's Comprehensive Plan and noted the limited parking at Ashland Community Hospital, Southern Oregon University, and the downtown area.

Gerry Lehrburger/1639 Jackson Road/Stated this intersection is prone to flooding and recommended a community wide master plan and a timetable that takes into consideration the new bridge, the Park and Ride, the proposed Lithia Springs Market Place, and the Wellsprings masterplan to address the drainage and flooding issues. Mr. Lehrburger expressed concern with the piecemealing of this project and commented on the lack of integration and coordination.

Jonnie Lieberman/277 Steinman Drive/Noted RVTD's indication of the Park and Ride as a "shared use destination", requested Council consider the floodplain concerns, and asked that the land be return to Jackson Wellsprings if the project cannot go forth on the proposed site.

City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified that although there is some money in the CIP, the actual cost of the land and the project itself would be borne by Jackson County and RVTD, and this would not be a City project.

Mayor Morrison questioned what would happen if the City did not sign the Memorandum of Understanding and questioned whether this is a worthy project. Ms. Townsend stated that RVTD views this as the Ashland Park and Ride. She noted that several locations were considered and she considers the proposed site a perfect location for the Park and Ride. She clarified they are looking at a minimum of a 50 year lease and feels there will be a great demand for this parking in the future. She stated if Council is not supportive of this project they would likely look for another location. Mr. Petrasek stated that sooner or later the County will have to purchase this property for the realignment of the bridge. He stated if Ashland drops out of the MOU, he does not know if they would proceed with the Park and Ride.

Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Ashland, Jackson County, and the Rogue Valley Transit District for a Park and Ride facility at the north entrance to Ashland. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty indicated she is having second thoughts about this project. She expressed concern that they may be subsidizing a parking area for whomever ends up developing this area and questioned the assertion that parking is limited in Ashland. Councilor Jackson stated this project furthers the City's transit planning for the future and voiced support for the MOU. Councilor Silbiger noted there are currently parking issues around the City and stated this parking facility would be necessary in the upcoming years. Councilor Chapman voiced his opposition to the use of federal earmarks. Council Navickas stated he supports the concept of public transit, but is skeptical of this project due to the lack of communication with the property owner. Councilor Hartzell stated she would not support this project if it results in imminent domain. She also questioned if a pervious surface could be used to help mitigate the flooding problems in that area. Councilor Hardesty noted the MOU does not limit the expenditures to the City.

Councilor Hardesty/Jackson m/s to amend motion to place a $30,000 cap on the City's expenditures for this project. DISCUSSION: Ms. Seltzer clarified this amount was based on the former Public Works Director's estimate and was set aside for permitting. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Hardesty, Navickas, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Roll Call Vote on Motion as amended: Councilor Hartzell, Hardesty, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Councilor Chapman and Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

1. Will the council select one of three respondents to the Request for Qualifications to develop five units of affordable housing on the City Clay Creek Property, and direct staff to work with the selected developer to complete the developer agreement, subdivision of the property, and development of five affordable housing units?
Housing Program Specialist/Senior Planner Brandon Goldman presented th staff report. He explained the City received three respondents to the Request for Qualifications to develop five affordable housing units on the City's Clay Creek property and stated stated staff supports the Housing Commission's recommendation to select the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation as the developer for the site. Mr. Goldman clarified the first step in the process is to select the developer, and that no project is being proposed at this time.

Mr. Goldman clarified the units would be targeted at individuals at 80% below the median income, and this would be about $42,000 for a family of four. He noted RVCDC has outlined a timeline that begins right away.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to accept the Housing Commission and staff's recommendation to select the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Hartzell, Chapman, Navickas, Silbiger and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

2. Does the Council want to authorize the sale of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) use of a Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) pass thru and the construction of a 63.5kW solar electric system at 90 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland, Oregon?
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid presented the staff report on the sale of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) and provided a brief history of this project. He noted the work of the Solar Subcommittee and the tentative selection of Advanced Energy Solutions to construct the Solar Pioneer II Project. Mr. Wanderscheid stated the Subcommittee and staff are both recommending that the City enter into a contract with Advanced Energy Systems to construct a 63.5kW solar electric generation system at the 90 N. Mountain complex, sell clean renewable energy bonds to Bank of America, and work to finalize the Business Energy Tax Credit pass thru with Bank of the Cascades to provide capital for the system.

Mr. Wanderscheid indicated there are funds in the Conservation Department's budget for this system. He clarified staff currently has 66 individuals who want to be notified when the panels go on sale, but they do not know for sure how many of the 363 panels will sell. He commented on a possible worst case scenario, and stated if no panels were sold, it would not have a significant impact on citizens (for a $100.00 electric bill, the increase would be $0.21).

Mr. Wanderscheid briefly addressed the questions submitted by Councilor Hartzell and noted David Parker and David Mathews with Advanced Energy Systems were present to answer any questions Council may have.

Mr. Parker commented on the projected efficiency increases in solar panels over the next 5-10 years and stated the efficiency levels are increasing at a rate, at most, of .5% per year.

Mr. Wanderscheid clarified the system would be guaranteed for 10 years. He noted that solar panels rarely fail; however, they would likely need to replace one inverter at a cost of $5,000 in the next 20 years. Mr. Wanderscheid noted that BPA has offered the City the full marketing ability of their department to help the City develop its marketing campaign and indicated the plan is to move quickly with this project.

Mr. Wanderscheid clarified the $11,000 permit fee would come out of the Conservation Department's budget.

Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to direct staff to sell the CREB's to Bank of America, enter into a contract with Advanced Energy Systems for system construction, work with the Bank of the Cascades on BETC pass thru, and begin working on marketing and promotional activities. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson offered her perspective on this project and voiced her support for moving forward. Councilor Silbiger expressed concern with building the project up front and not knowing how many panels they will sell. Councilor Chapman provided his input on this project. He stated he would have preferred for the shares to be pre-sold to reduce the risk, but stated he would support this project. Mr. Parker commented on the sale of the BETC credit, and stated there is a chance that the credit amount could drop if a decision on this issue is delayed to a subsequent meeting. Councilor Hardesty recommended a tremendous marketing effort if this project is approved. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Jackson, Hardesty and Hartzell, YES. Councilor Chapman and Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 4-2.

2. Does the Council have any feedback for staff about the proposed selection/ interview process for the Public Works Director?
City Administrator Martha Bennett noted a conflict with the interview dates listed in the Council Communication. She stated the interview process would likely be moved to either March 17-18 or March 20-21.
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"?

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance #2948. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Hartzell, Jackson and Hardesty, YES. Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

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"?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
1. Does the Council wish to invite Mount Ashland Association and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to make a presentation about the performance and regulations related to the wastewater treatment plant at the Mount Ashland Ski Area?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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