Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


May 19, 2009
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council chambers.

Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger and Lemhouse were present. Councilor Chapman arrived at 7:23 p.m.

Mayor Stromberg gave a brief update on the military troop from Southern Oregon.

Mayor Stromberg noted vacancies on the Public Arts Commission, Planning Commission and Tree Commission.

Mayor Stromberg clarified changes in the agenda.

The minutes of the Study Session of May 4, 2009 and Regular Council meeting of May 5, 2009 were approved as presented.

1. Does the Council have comments on the Ashland Forest Lands Restoration Project, Phase III for the City's Winburn Parcel?
Item postponed.

1. Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Should Council accept the sweatshop free procurement policy as present?
3. Will the Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, declare the items listed as surplus property and authorize a sealed bid auction be conducted to dispose of the vehicles and equipment declared as surplus property?
4. Should the Council approve a contract with Brown and Caldwell in an amount not to exceed $43,972 to provide an ecological assessment of the Lithia Springs property on Emigrant Creek Road?
5. Does the Council wish to confirm the Mayor's appointment of John Karns as Fire Chief?
6. Should the Council extend the Charter Communications Franchise for one year to facilitate negotiation of a new franchise agreement?
7. Will the Council approve the engineering services contract Amendment #4 with Brown and Caldwell for $59,836 for engineering services to monitor and test source water supply at Reeder Reservoir?

Consent Agenda item #2 was postponed to a future agenda.

Councilor Silbiger/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 and #3 through #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1. Should the Council approve a resolution adjusting the FY2008-2009 Budget to create appropriations and authorize expenditures for unanticipated expenses during this year?
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg presented the staff report and recommendation to approve the Resolution. He explained this was a normal way to adjust the budget.

Public Hearing Open: 7:11 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:11 p.m.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2009-14. DISCUSSION: Explanation was provided on three grants that were received and the supplemental budget approval was required. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Silbiger, Voisin, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.

2. Will the Council grant the Oregon Department of Transportation a variance to the City's noise ordinance that will allow night work on Interstate 5 between Milepost 11.45 and 19.09?
City Attorney Richard Appicello provided the variance request by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Art Anderson representing ODOT apologized for the work that had begun early and violated the City Noise Ordinance. He stated it would not happen in the future and took responsibility for the action. He further clarified the specific area scheduled for construction and the time at night when it would occur. It was determined a variance was necessary from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mr. Anderson also provided information on decibel noise levels.

ODOT Project Manager Joe Thomas stated project completion was the end of May with work in Ashland complete in approximately two days. He provided additional information on how noise level is produced.

Public Hearing Open: 7:21 p.m.
Liza Christian/843 Oak Knoll Drive/Questioned what other subsequent noise and light problems should they expect during the construction.

Councilor Chapman arrived at 7:23 p.m.

Mr. Anderson described the area ODOT would be working during the daytime and provided an information contact number for the public (541) 774-6353.

City Administrator Martha Bennett stated the characteristics of a neighborhood should be considered and the City Noise Ordinance addresses unreasonable noises.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:28 p.m.

Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to approve ODOT request for a noise variance for 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for approximately three weeks. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Navickas, Voisin, Chapman and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

3. Does the Council authorize a 7.7% increase for residential, commercial and medical waste services provided by Ashland Sanitary Services, Co., Inc.?
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer presented the staff report that recommended approval of the franchise agreement and introduced Gary Rigotti and Russ Chapman from Ashland Sanitary Services.

Mr. Chapman did not anticipate a decrease of tipping fees at the Dry Creek Landfill. Mr. Rigotti explained every 10 years Dry Creek Landfill was allowed to change rates and shared how past rates were determined. The estimated impact was $1.20 per household, still making it less expensive to recycle and recycling was strongly encouraged.

Public Hearing Open: 7:36 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:36 p.m.

Councilor Voisin/Jackson m/s to approve making a 7.7% increase for Ashland Sanitary Services Company Inc. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


1. Should the Council approve second reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance, Site Design and Use Standards (Section 18.72.030) Concerning Public Art on Historic Structures"?
City Attorney Richard Appicello read the title in full.

Councilor Silbiger/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #2984.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Voisin, Navickas, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.

1. Should the Council approve an amendment to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) adding Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones and related amendments of the ALUO and Comprehensive Plan regarding the protection of wetlands, stream and riparian corridors?
It was announced that the record was officially closed.

Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the definition of "top of bank" was the same the State used under Goal 5 with additional language from staff to determine the "top of bank" area. He further explained how the ordinance addressed the range of restoration. The installation of native plants and minor earthwork were exempt activities where extensive earthwork near a creek would require a Type 1 Planning Action exemption with additional provisions and incentives similar to the City's use of density bonuses.

Senior City Planner Maria Harris explained native plant requirements. The closet part of the water protection zone needed to be 100% native plants and the outer upland protection zone could be 50% native, 50% non-native.

Mr. Molnar went on to discuss the issue of using equipment for maintenance in these areas. Agricultural areas might be exempt for existing agricultural activities. The ordinance establishes a threshold for heavy equipment. Equipment less than 100 lbs would be exempt; over 100 lbs would trigger a land use application in an effort to control erosion. In addition to an amendment for existing agricultural practices, the Council might decide to loosen the restriction of heavy equipment if certain criteria were in place and the equipment did not disrupt native plants or disturb the soil.

Ms. Bennett further clarified that in regards to existing lawn maintenance; the Council may want to include language in the ordinance on maintaining existing landscaping as opposed to existing lawn, adding that any action that disturbs the ground is beyond maintenance.

Mr. Molnar commented on the technical review and shared the names of individuals who provided input and reviewed the ordinance. Most communities in Oregon had adopted an ordinance similar to this one.

In regards to enforcement, Mr. Molnar understood that most property owners with creeks followed flood plan restrictions and knew to ask prior to initiating projects but a management plan would be helpful.

Ms. Bennett provided an outline for deliberation with several suggestions for the Council. The first was whether the Council would adopt the map and changes to chapter 18.62 Physical and Environmental Constraints.

The second suggestion were issues the Council needed to deliberate on with the proposed new Chapter 18.63 that included buffer zones, "top of bank", landscaping, new planting mitigation, protection zone reduction and hardship variance provisions and reducing redundancy in the provisions that relate to streams and wetlands.

The third related to items outside the scope of the proposed ordinance such as the Parks and Recreation Department's request for a six month period to review and evaluate their pesticide use policy prior to any action by the Council and how the City would handle public outreach and information regarding the ordinance.

Councilor Silbiger stated he might have a potential conflict of interest due to property he owns adjacent to a riparian zone. City Attorney Richard Appicello provided examples of "Class Exemption" that showed Councilor Silbiger's case did not create a conflict of interest.

The Council and staff discussed why the City would apply permit level standards for exempt activities in Section 18.63.060 and 18.63.120 B-1.a and b. The Council suggested striking the following language from the first sentence in 18.63.060 A. Exempt Activities Within Stream Bank Protection Zones: "…provided the restoration requirements included in sections 18.63.120 B-1.a and b are met." Ms. Harris recommended handouts that listed suggested restoration practices to clarify activities that required or would not require permits.

Councilor Jackson corrected reference numbers on the Physical and Environmental Constraints Map. The correct chapter for the Riparian Preservation Stream, 20' buffer was 18.62.050.A.4. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-Year and 500-Year Flood Plain reference numbers were 18.62.050.A.1 and the Ashland Modified Floodplain Corridor Lands should be 18.62.050.A.2.  In Chapter 18.62, K. Fences the reference number was 18.63.060.A.5. Staff will correct cross reference errors between 18.62 and 18.63.

Mr. Molnar explained staff did not integrate the Flood Plain Ordinance with the Water Resource Protection Zones Ordinances because the developing standards in flood plains were often public safety and flood analysis issues where the Water Resource ordinances focused on vegetation management and habitat. He added that staff was working to clear up any contradictions between the ordinances.

Councilor Voisin wanted to know how a citizen would determine the buffer zone and if they were in compliance. Mr. Appicello noted the section in the ordinance that addressed compliance. Mr. Molnar described the process a property owner might experience in determining the centerline for a creek on their property.

Staff provided "top of bank" definitions from the proposed ordinance and examples. In cases where a certain level of alteration had occurred, the City might suggest using the two-year flood occurrence. If it remained unclear, the property owner could have "top of bank" location determined by staff or a professional.

Staff explained how the Engineering Department determines the high water mark for two-year reoccurring interval flood elevation using a statistical calculation to determine the probability in any 2-year period that the water will reach that level. Using the two-year flood could create confusion with landscaping requirements.

The Council commented the ordinance could be difficult for people to understand and there needed to be easier ways for a property owner to determine a riparian area.

Staff clarified that centerline would change as streams moved and the centerline of streams or "top of bank" would not really address streams that move any better than the alternative and required looking at a wide swath.

The Council in general agreed on the buffer zones for fish bearing streams.

Councilor Chapman left the meeting at 9:37 p.m.

The Council agreed with banning invasive and noxious vegetation in accordance with State law and shared concern on removing non-native plants from the first 50% of the protection zone because they may provide habitat and benefits not yet considered. It was clarified the rule applied to new plantings only and did not require the removal of non-native plants already established in the protection zone.

It was restated how difficult the ordinance was for an individual to understand and that it required knowledge of native plants. Performance standards in place of mitigation plans was suggested.

The native non-native denominator could be strongly recommended through guidance documents and appendices.

Mr. Appicello explained the premise behind the 100% native plants within the first 50-foot area of the protective zone was from the Oregon Administrative Rules that stated the installation of native plants could result in a demonstration of equal or better protection for identified resources ensured through restoration, enhanced buffer treatment or similar measures.

The Council and staff continued the discussion, noting how critical native trees were to the internal buffer zone, the need for public education on native plants and a caution that removing planting requirements from the ordinance would not leave many mitigation requirements for people wanting to alter the zone.

Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to continue this item until the July 21, 2009 Council meeting. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson thought the ordinance should be specific for people to understand the buffer zone becoming more native but was not convinced that it was practical. She suggested people use the internet instead of having staff create a book of native plants acceptable for the buffer zone areas.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Jackson, Navickas, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


1. Airport Commission
Councilor Silbiger reported the Commission received the 100% Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for the airport pavement overlay. The Commission was currently working on rate structures. The Annual Airport Appreciation Day sponsored by Brim Aviation was Saturday May 30, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2. Conservation Commission
Councilor Jackson stated the Conservation Commission had set new goals and commented on the success the Commission experienced during Earth Day.

City Administrator Martha Bennett provided a brief summary of the meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:12 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

John Stromberg, Mayor

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