Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Minutes

Tuesday, April 20, 1999

April 20, 1999
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Wheeldon and Fine were present; Councilor Hanson was absent.

The minutes of the Regular meeting of April 6, 1999 were approved with the following amendment; page 1 under Special Presentation item 2 "Secretary of United States in Michigan".

1. Mayor’s Proclamation of April 18 through 24, 1999 as Volunteer Recognition Week in Ashland.
Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety.

2. Update and presentation by the Conservation Commission.
Councilor Wheeldon, as council liaison, introduced the Conservation Commission. Russ Chapman, chairman of the Conservation Commission noted the opportunities that the Conservation Department provides the community. Listed projects that the Commission has been involved in for the past three years. Explained that the idea is to allow a lighter impact on the environment.

Presented video and commended on the past efforts of the late Councilor Ken Hagen.

Bruce Moats explained the new "Green Business" program, which focuses on encouraging business conservation of water and electricity. Noted that there will be criteria set, and that the program will be submitted to council for approval. Noted the direction of the Conservation Commission and how the members represent various organizations in the city.

Commented on the upcoming "Earth Day" activities.

Kari Tuck shared information on the education sub-committee of the Conservation Commission and how they have been working with local schools. Noted the support that the Commission is giving the schools and how other agencies are involved in the education of conservation in the schools. Noted again the three main goals of the Commission, which are: 1) Conservation of Water; 2) Conservation of Energy; and 3) Solid waste reduction. Commented that recycling is the main focus in regards to solid waste reduction, and discussed pre-cycling and "reducing – re-using". Noted worm agriculture (vermiculture) and composting classes that are being provided to the community, and working with the city in regards to conservation and energy in the areas of education and the solar roof program. Tuck also noted her position with the Parks Department, and the Department’s "Environmental Stewardship Program" classes that are being provided through the Parks Department.

Karen Amarotico, Ashley Henry and Kirk Evans, members of the Commission, spoke of their interests, efforts and the energy that they share with the community through the Conservation Commission. A prepared statement by Howard Braham was also read, as he was unable to attend.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Monthly Departmental Reports.
3. Termination of a portion of a sanitary sewer easement at 364 Helman Street.
4. Confirmation of Mayor’s appointments/re-appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees.

Councilors Wheeldon/Fine m/s to approve the consent agenda. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing to consider motion for approval of sewer service outside the City Limits, but within the City’s Urban Growth Boundary for Temple Emek Shalom at 1800 E. Main Street.

This item was moved to "Unfinished Business".

Peter Stanley/4886 Hwy 66/
Spoke regarding the possibility of banning smoking in bars. City Attorney Nolte noted for Council that there is upcoming legislation that may prohibit cities from passing laws that would ban smoking in bars.

Ron Roth/6950 Old Highway 99 South/Commented on packet that was sent to council regarding Waste Water Treatment options. Stated that he is an advocate for his own irrigation rights on his farm and also for in-stream fish rights. Feels there are substantial, downstream, senior irrigation rights for Bear Creek and its tributaries. Noted different sections in his hand-out regarding comments by the State Water Master. Feels that the city should know the consequences if the WWTP stream is shut down. Pointed out that tertiary costs noted in the past seemed very expensive and stated that he feels that there would need to be public hearings before anything is changed on the Waste Water Treatment Plant options.

Shaw noted that there have been numerous public hearings, and commented on the reasoning behind Assistant City Engineer Jim Olson’s previous memo.

Councilors Reid moved to place this item on the agenda. Motion died due to lack of a second. Council discussion to bring this subject up under "Other Business from Council".

1. Public Hearing to consider motion for approval of sewer service outside the City Limits, but within the City’s Urban Growth Boundary for Temple Emek Shalom at 1800 E. Main Street.

Councilor Fine made the following declaration of a conflict of interest, as required by state law, as his reason for recusal: "Because I am the attorney and because I represent the current owner of the land for which City sewer service is now being requested, and that the Council’s decision on this request will affect the economic interests of my client, I will now leave the council chambers."

Stan Shulster/165 Pilot View Drive/
Attorney for the applicant, questioned council as to which direction they were going to take in regards to approval of sewer service. Stated that he would have objection, or ask for further discussion if council were to include the additional conditions stated in the city attorney’s council communication.

Councilor Reid commented that she did not remember there being a discussion at the previous meeting regarding fees.

Laws would like to have discussion on all three options.

Shulster pointed out that the congregation was careful not to ask the city for any special considerations. Felt that the council agreed at the previous meeting, that the proposal being considered met the "spirit of the ordinance". Stated that the motion being proposed does meet all requirements and requested that the council not go beyond the language of the ordinance by adopting the proposed conditions. Stated that the conditions of annexation will be met, at the time of annexation, but stressed that the city is not asked for any special consideration and should not add any special conditions.

Ken Ogden/1042 Dead Indian Road
/Architect for the Temple, explained to council the criteria for development and standards on the proposed development. Emphasized the importance and the responsibility of the developers in cooperating with the city.

Wheeldon questioned whether the project would be subject to the city site review process.

Shulster questioned the imposition of additional burdens beyond the ordinance, and assured the council that the architect is familiar with city standards and would be working to meet those standards.

Shulster suggested that sidewalks could be dedicated at a later time.

Discussion of whether annexation was possible now. Community Development Director, John McLaughlin confirmed for council that not all adjacent properties have agreements to annexation. McLaughlin explained that the additional conditions could be coordinated through Jackson County in order to monitor compliance. Felt that the council could impose conditions through a deferred improvement district for sidewalks linked to the annexation.

Nolte explained that the condition regarding development fees and conforming to development standards had to do with additional service being provided outside city limits and costs involved. Nolte stated that without imposing fees, the city would in effect be subsidizing development outside of the city limits.

Laws explained his previous concerns regarding imposing annexation in regards to costs that would result for the school district and the Nazarene Church, but after giving it more thought, determined that there would be increased transportation costs involved with increased traffic immediately, but there would be no payments from the property owners causing these increased costs until annexation. With this in mind, he is comfortable with requiring development fees and compliance with development standards.

Shaw noted the traffic congestion and the difficulties that the middle school is currently facing. Commented on the possibility of annexation, and stated that although there was a recent article in local newspaper that had numerous errors regarding the facts of past council action for service outside the city, many items in the article had merit and the temple should consider coming in the front door with annexation, rather than trying to slip in through the back door.

Councilors Reid moved that the Rogue Valley Jewish Community, a nonprofit Oregon corporation, dba Temple Emek Shalom, (the applicant) be granted permission to connect a temple building to be constructed at 1800 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon, to the Ashland city sewer system, subject to these conditions: 1)That prior to such connection there exists an City of Ashland eight (8)-inch sewer line within 300 feet of the existing dwelling on the property. Applicant shall construct such sewer line and connect it to the City of Ashland sewer system. The sewer line is to be constructed at no cost to the city and shall meet city standards. Once constructed, the line within the public right-of-way shall be dedicated to the city, and the city will accept the dedication as an Ashland city sewer line; 2) The applicant will comply with the city’s land use site review standards. Subject to the foregoing conditions, the council finds that all of the requirements of Ashland Municipal Code Section 14.08.030 have been met by the applicant and that it is in the best interests of the City of Ashland to permit the connection to the city sewer system. The motion died for lack of a second.

Councilors Laws/Reid moved that the Rogue Valley Jewish Community, a nonprofit Oregon corporation, dba Temple Emek Shalom, (the applicant) be granted permission to connect a temple building to be constructed at 1800 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon, to the Ashland city sewer system, subject to these conditions: 1)That prior to such connection there exists an City of Ashland eight (8)-inch sewer line within 300 feet of the existing dwelling on the property. Applicant shall construct such sewer line and connect it to the City of Ashland sewer system. The sewer line is to be constructed at no cost to the city and shall meet city standards. Once constructed, the line within the public right-of-way shall be dedicated to the city, and the city will accept the dedication as an Ashland city sewer line; 2) The applicant will comply with the city’s land use site review standards; 3) The applicant will make such applications, pay such development fees and conform to such development standards as if the property were located within the city limits. Subject to the foregoing conditions, the council finds that all of the requirements of Ashland Municipal Code Section 14.08.030 have been met by the applicant and that it is in the best interests of the City of Ashland to permit the connection to the city sewer system.

DISCUSSION: Hauck feels that conditions are not unreasonable. If exceptions are to be made, these conditions are necessary to make this action follow the "spirit of the ordinance". Would support dedication for future installment of sidewalks at the time of annexation.

Wheeldon pointed out that the site’s proximity to the city limits makes a connection possible and also makes the conditions necessary.

Nolte confirmed that an amendment to the motion would need to involve a dedication to the public, so that whatever jurisdiction is over the property can utilize it for the purpose dedicated, but that no additional dedication would be required if there were sufficient room within the right-of-way.

Councilors Wheeldon/Hauck m/s to amend the motion to provide sufficient right-of-way to build, to city standards, storm drains and sidewalks, and at the time of annexation to install those facilities.

Reid questioned whether McLaughlin had wanted a control mechanism on the timing of these improvements. McLaughlin clarified that he had wanted the improvements to be deferred to some point set by the council, and confirmed that an annexation would be a very good trigger to control these improvements independent of an LID.

Councilors Law/Reid agreed to incorporate this amendment into the original motion, so that no vote on the amendment was necessary.

Hauck stated that he felt it was important that there not be a precedent set, and explained that what is being done is compatible with the existing city ordinance. Mayor Shaw suggested that precedent may be being set, and suggested that staff look again at the ordinance to deal with issues that have surfaced with institutions seeking service outside of the city limits. Laws questioned if this was worth the staff’s time, given the number of projects underway versus the number of requests that come to council.

Roll call vote: Wheeldon, Laws, Hauck and Reid, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Fine returned at 8:29 p.m.

1. Council Meeting Look Ahead.
Noted that this item was for information only.

2. Update on the implementation of Council’s 1998-1999 goals.
City Administrator Mike Freeman provided an update on council goals, as listed in his council communication, which involved securing new facilities for Fire Department; initiating a city-wide strategic planning process; exploring alternatives to current Local Improvement District process; encouraging alternative transportation modes; implementing long-range planning for flood plain and riparian areas; and developing a long-range comprehensive solution for the city’s water needs.

Reid questioned developing the Fire Station RFP for architectural design and engineering service prior to conducting the study session on design, location, and bond issue timing. Freeman explained that the RFP was not for a specific package yet, it was merely for the services.

With regard to the Central Ashland Bikeway, Freeman noted that issues which have been raised having to do with signage, jurisdiction, and safety concerns will be addressed by the Police Department, Parks, and Public Works.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained lineal parks as a means to link open space parks areas with a network of trails and easements, and noted that the concept had been suggested by Ken Hagen. Confirmed that as opportunities arise, easements may be sought through the conditional approval process to begin building the preliminary trail system shown on the open space plan map as development occurs.

Councilor Reid expressed her concern with direction being taken involving Siskiyou Boulevard jurisdictional exchange for the bike lanes, where it seems that a decision has been made without there being any public hearings, and without information regarding the long range financial aspects of the project. Reid emphasized that there is some confusion in the community regarding Siskiyou Blvd and Hwy 66.

Laws warned that it has been several years since trying to put through a plan for a bike plan on Siskiyou Boulevard and that there are new property owners and larger trees to deal with.

Freeman noted that there will need to be ongoing discussion of funding for downstream improvements in Ashland Creek.

3. 1998/99 Construction and Major Project Activity Summary #3.

Public Works Director Paula Brown briefly summarized activities for the council, and explained that a more complete report will be brought back to council at a future council study session.

Clarified for council that the water master plan is moving forward nicely.

Regarding the storm drain master plan, explained for council that EPA has backed away from mandating participatory requirements.

Commented that phone calls have been received from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), which is a step forward in dealing with the TID contract, and their review will be occurring.

Nolte confirmed that while he was aware of pending litigation concerning water rights in Klamath County, he was of the understanding that there was little chance that this suit would succeed in depriving TID water to the Rogue Basin. Stated, however, that this issue needs to be watched closely.

Brown stated that design for sidewalks and traffic calming on Oak Street should be complete within 60 days, and the project should be completed this summer, before school starts and prior to ODOT deadlines.

Confirmed that staff will bring information on miscellaneous issues outside the actual construction of the Central Ashland Bikepath for a later meeting. Emphasized that construction is driven by ODOT, and the contractor is waiting for ODOT’s approval to proceed.

Noted that work on Wightman Street Storm Drains, the next big Public Works project, began April 20th and should be completed within 60 days.

Stated that an update on the Wetlands project will be prepared as soon as spring data is collected and compiled. Emphasized that changes in soil pH and detention times could result in reductions in the phosphorous numbers previously given.

Fine commended Public Works on their excellent efforts in "miscellaneous concrete projects" to put sidewalks in areas used by students going to school.

Brown confirmed that staff intends to build a new warehouse building on the B Street Yard, but that this needs to go through the planning process prior to construction. Emphasized that the wall in place was approved by the planning commission, and will look much better when the fence and landscaping are in place.

Reid commended Public Works on their list of accomplishments, and requested that staff look into promoting using groups of local individuals, as was done with the Roca Creek channel improvements project, for the League nominations which are coming up.

1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance for the Vacation of New Street from its intersection with Oak Street to its Terminus, All of Which is Located between Hersey Street and the Railroad Tracks."

Councilors Hauck/Reid m/s to adopt Ordinance #2339. Voice vote: Hauck, Laws, Wheeldon, Reid, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting the City of Ashland 1999-2000 Strategic Plan."

Shaw questioned the Rail Road District Plan being dropped from the plan. McLaughlin explained that if state funding was found to pursue this item with consultants, it could be accomplished. But without funding, if the item were needed to be driven by staff and staff time was required, it would be too large a project given the other items on the list. Freeman emphasized that re-zoning would occur, and that efforts would continue to find funding to hire a consultant, but the item was removed from the Strategic Plan as it was too large to be staff-driven.

Councilors m/s Wheeldon/Reid to adopt Resolution #99-21, with an amendment to page 3 under Transit to include all modes of transportation in the survey to be conducted. Roll call vote: Reid, Laws, Wheeldon, Hauck, and Fine, YES.

3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City of Ashland, Oregon, Authorizing the Reimbursement of Expenditures with Reimbursement Bond Proceeds."

Turner explained for Wheeldon that the Council authorized the purchase of a park, and under IRS regulations, the City must declare the intention to reimburse itself from bonds for expenditures borrowed short term from other areas.

Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to adopt Resolution #99-20. Roll call vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to place on the agenda the question of how to proceed with the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Laws noted that at the last meeting, he had expressed some interest in the tertiary treatment option that was presented. Noted concerns with taking water out of the creek, by not returning treated effluent for six months in the summer, is twice as much as the water rights to the Imperatrice property for replacement water. Recalled that water rights could be targeted to the time of year when the creek levels are low. Stated his concern is to do what is best for the ecology and environment of Bear Creek.

Laws noted that he has spoken with Bear Creek authority, Eric Dittmer, who felt it would be better to have water behind the dam at Emigrant to release when needed, than to have it coming steadily downstream at a set rate, as it would with tertiary treatment. Dittmer recommended proceeding with the spray irrigation project and that water rights be fully implemented.

Reid asked Nolte what percentage of the city’s water rights are pre-1860. Hauck also asked for information on "junior water rights." Reid requested that staff provide some sort of conversion chart to allow Council to interpret discussions of acre feet, millions of gallons per day, and the various other methods of measurement which are discussed. Reid also requested that staff provide information on new energy conservation technology called "back jam" being used in sewer plants, which she has heard mentioned by Carollo Engineers. Also requested specific information on tertiary treatment, and asked that Eric Dittmer be available to answer council questions.

Reid noted that Dittmer is an expert on the ecology, biology, and carrying capacity of Bear Creek, who studied water quality in the Creek and its tributaries for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments. Noted that Dittmer is now a geology professor at SOU.

Laws emphasized that Dittmer feels that there is enough water in the Creek in the summer months, and that it would be better to hold the city’s water rights behind the Emigrant dam until September and October when flows are at their lowest.

Reid stated that she views the effluent as a potential resource that could be eventually used for irrigation in drought periods. Feels it is important that effluent be available to the community when it is needed.

Shaw noted that there was a possibility the eventual possibility of using treated effluent to irrigate not just through the Parks Department, but the University as well. Reid said that she was interested in this possibility, and requested more information from staff on this item.

Laws noted that his intention in initiating this discussion was not to delay the construction process that is to begin soon, and emphasized that the current option being pursued is better for the Creek in keeping the targeted water in stream, and for the city in retaining the potential for full use of effluent as a resource at some point in the future.

Brown explained that they are in the bid process now, and the intention is to award by June 30th or with a decision from LUBA, whichever comes first. Emphasized that questions could be answered, but these might be problematic in the bid process. Stated that she will get back to council prior to the next meeting with a memo.

Hauck questioned whether there would be a problem with solid wastes if the city opted not to spray irrigate. Brown stated that option 5 would have the lagoons, the drying process and land application on the site, and stated that there may still be concerns on the part of the neighbors with this option.

Nolte and Brown confirmed that they have checked into land use and water rights issues surrounding this, and there would be no problem created if the city opted not to irrigate.

Wheeldon inquired whether the LUBA decision affects the city’s options. Brown stated that LUBA has not imposed any restrictions on moving forward, but that it would be wise to proceed cautiously pending LUBA’s decision. Wheeldon suggested that council look at making a final decision at the next meeting.

Laws stated his willingness to authorize Brown to proceed unless she finds problems in researching these issues for council that necessitates council action.

Fine stated that if another meeting is to be held regarding this matter, he would like to see Ashland citizens given priority, with the time for public input limited, so that the council can adequately address the issue at hand.

Ron Roth//Explained that the irrigation issue is whether water is available to be used when needed, and how it gets there does not matter. Noted trust issues with TID, and stated that unless there is a formal written agreement with TID that says the city can hold water and then release it this option should not be pursued.

Nolte stated that there is precedent for a municipality to hold water behind a dam controlled by an irrigation district and release it later. Emphasized that the water rights of the city are recognized by the state, and there is no problem with pursuing this option. Hauck emphasized that this was done previously during the drought.

Wheeldon noted that 1) The Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission is promoting Ashland Free Ride Day on May 13th, and asked that the promotional materials be allowed to include promotion for the May 18th RVTD levy. Shaw noted that public funds could not be used in this way, so it would only be acceptable if no city funds were commingled in the production of this promotional material in the form of staff time, paper, printing, or funds; 2) Regarding the Central Ashland Bikepath, noted problems with intramural softball usage at the college fields disrupting path use and field users driving on the path to park nearer to the field, and emphasized the need to make the public aware that this project is still in progress; .

Shaw emphasized the need for signage and temporary measures to safeguard children using the path. Freeman explained that this project is under construction in ODOT jurisdiction, but emphasized that cement barriers have been placed. Brown noted that temporary measures are in place, she will speak to ODOT to arrange signage, and will work to get a story in the local papers to raise public awareness of this issue.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Submitted by Barbara M. Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer

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