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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)


Thursday, April 09, 2009



April 9, 2009


CALL TO ORDER –Chair John Rinaldi called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. on April 9, 2009 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.


Commissioners Present

Council Liaison

Laurie Sager

Kate Jackson

John Rinaldi Jr.


Zane Jones

Staff Present

Bobby Townsend

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner


Anne Rich, Parks Department





March 5, 2009 Tree Commission Minutes –   Sager/Townsend m/s to approve the minutes of February March 5, 2009 with the modification. Voice vote: all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes were approved with modification.



Ted Loftus – Loftus Landscaping: 295 Beach Street, Ashland, OR 97520. Not part of the problem but part of the solution and has a great appreciation for commissioners. Walnuts in Eugene and every fall everyone would gather the street tree walnuts but even though they are messy some of the rules and regulations need to be more malleable and that the City should allow fruit and nut trees.

Client with a retrofit needs to put in one street tree and based on the irrigation requirements it’s a $500 - $800 cost. Supports tree requirement, client supports tree but when small number of tree required all of the other parts of the irrigation system create an issue. All of the brass, the plastic, the metal and the costs going into the ground seem to defeat the purpose of the tree install. Possibly require that the property owner hand water etc. we need to think more globally.


Commissioner Rinaldi presented Commissioner Sager with a thank you gift of coffee cash to assist with her commutes.  The gift was from the Tree Commission thanking her for her many years of service.   



PLANNING ACTION:            2009-00266

SUBJECT PROPERTY:         1725 - 1747 Siskiyou Boulevard

APPLICANT: Susan Dallas for Rose Court Condominiums

DESCRIPTION:  A request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove seven trees, six maple trees in front of the units and one walnut tree located near the driveway for the property located at 1745 Siskiyou Boulevard.    



Site Visits by all / no exparte


Applicant: Susan Dallas lives at Rose Court condominium complex and when the property was built out, small trees were installed.  They have grown large and are cracking the foundations. The walnut tree along the driveway creates a lot of fruit drop which is messy and it has a lean.


Tree Commission Discussion: Commissioner Jones asked why the trees along the rear property line are proposed for removal. Ms. Dallas said that the home owners association no longer wanted to remove those trees and they are just requesting the trees along the front of the units and the walnut tree. Ms. Dallas wondered what to do about the roots above the ground level and what they could do to remedy the situation. Can they cut the roots? Commissioner Sager explained how cutting the roots will create a dangerous situation and possibly kill the tree. Anne Rich stated that the trees in the back are Liquidambar and that is why they have exposing roots. Commissioner Sager stated that the trees along the units are very bad and they absolutely must be removed.  Commissioner Townsend stated that the best way to plant anything would be to building in a box. A small ornamental would be the only appropriate tree (crepe myrtle, lilac, or other shrub tree).

Stump grinding would be the only way to remove stumps and roots and that a mitigation tree should be planted in place of the Walnut. Commissioner Jones said he was pretty determined to convince them not cut down the walnut tree because it’s established and though it leans its not significant and the tree isn’t going to collapse. 



That the trees along the rear property line shall not be removed as per the applicant’s statement that they no longer want to remove them.


That a tree removal verification permit shall be applied for in accordance with Ashland Municipal Code 18.61 prior to the removal of any of the trees on site.


The tree commission recommends that the walnut tree not be removed, if upon the removal of the walnut tree, it shall be mitigated for on-site in accordance with Ashland Municipal Code 18.61. A mitigation plan shall be submitted for prior to the removal of the walnut tree.


PLANNING ACTION:            2009-00269

SUBJECT PROPERTY:         440 Helman Street

APPLICANT:  Richard Vezie

DESCRIPTION:  A Boundary Line Adjustment, a request for a Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit to allow construction within the Ashland Flood Plain corridor, and a request for a Variance to Section 18.62.070 of the Ashland Municipal Code to modify the lot line on a lot that does not have adequate buildable area outside the floodplain corridor for the property located at 440 Helman Street.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single-Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 04 CB; TAX LOT #: 6400 & 6500


Applicants:  Don Ferguson and Denise Kester 440 Helman. Site Visits by Bobby, Laurie, John; all noted difficult to see property due to the dense vegetation near the street and the topography of the site.


Tree Commission: Commissioners concerned about the lack of protection proposed for the trees. Construction always has negative impacts and if the property changes hands there is no way to require a protection plan later and that is the reason for requiring it at the time of development application.  Commission also concerned about the proximity to the riparian and suggested the applicant utilize native, riparian plantings in that area.



That a tree protection and preservation plan in accordance with 18.61.200 shall be submitted prior to the signature of the final survey plat. The approved tree protection and preservation plan shall be implemented on site and shall be inspected prior to any site work occurring on the site.


That the trees existing along the front of the property shall be included in the count for the total number of trees along the front of the property. That if a sidewalk is required along the front of the property line the existing trees shall be protected and preserved. 


That the trees on site shall be watered and maintained throughout the duration of the construction.


PLANNING ACTIONS:          2009-00272 & 2009-00273

SUBJECT PROPERTIES:      1070 Benson Way & 1080 Benson Way

APPLICANT: Steve Dierks

DESCRIPTION:  A request for Site Review approval and an Exception to Street Standards for the construction of two new 7,500 square-foot commercial buildings for the properties located at 1070 Benson Way and 1080 Benson Way. 




That a revised landscaping and irrigation plan shall be submitted and approved prior to the issuance of a building permit. That one parking lot shade tree shall be shown for every seven parking spaces.


That the cottonwood tree at the rear of the property shall be preserved and that a tree protection and preservation plan in accordance with 18.61.200 shall be submitted prior to any site work occurring on site.

That all trees within 15 feet of the property line shall be incorporated into the tree protection and preservation plan.


That the tree commission highly recommends using a tree other than Leland Cypress as the screening along the rear property lines due to their hazardous nature and flammability. 



Arbor Week Events:

Tree Walk at Southern Oregon University:

Anne Rich and Casey from Upper Limb-it will be guiding the tree walk. Anne has a list of 68 trees and plans to identify 15 but will have maps for those that attend. The group is set to meet by the Himalayan Palm in front of the Stevenson Union on Saturday the 11th at 2:00 PM. 


Earth day:

Schedule finalized and items for booth discussed.


State Heritage Tree meeting: Commissioner Townsend going to the May 2 meeting.

Would the Ashland Tree Commission be willing to join as members of the State Heritage Tree group? Laurie is not sure if there are any trees in Ashland that have the amount of history needed to be on the State list. The state program should in no way be a substitute for what the Tree Commission does and the Heritage Tree language in chapter 18.61.


Commissioner Townsend stated that he would be interested in going to the meeting for fact finding and that the Tree Commission will send or endorse a letter of thanks for allowing the Ashland Tree Commission to be part of the organization.



Liaison Reports: Commissioner Rinaldi informed the Tree Commission about the Mayor’s monthly brown bag lunch: They group had a discussion on how best to promote distinctive trees of Ashland. And that by having ecotourism as part of the City’s mission on tourism, trees would fit perfectly into that goal.


Kate Jackson: Stated that Council Goal setting was scheduled for Saturday and she stated that one of her goals for the City Council is to have more energy saving / carbon neutral construction requirements. And wondered how that goal would interface with tree requirements, impact solar access ordinance, etc.


Back page article – Commissioner Rinaldi drafting a “Tree Ordinance briefing” pertaining to when a tree removal permit is necessary and when its not.


Old Business: Tree Commission would like a response to their memo to the Director of Community Development, Bill Molnar about tree protection plans / excavation permits / etc. 


Distinctive Tree List: Still in information gathering compiling stages. Could use torwards creating a map to further the ecotourism goal of the Mayor.


Recommended Street Tree Guide: Amy working on edits to send to printer.


New Items:

Earth Day Events / Information

                Sign up sheet in the April packet

Great Oregon Tree Plant – 150 Trees for Oregon’s Sesquicentennial

Use planting as a ‘planting seminar’ Steve Siewert would like to assist

What part of a tree is that? grab box (for Children’s Ecoquest)


Current Balance - $ 88.32







2009 Goals:

Education and outreach

                Classes at North Mountain Nature Center

Tree Seminars – sponsored by the Tree Commission Casey already doing seminars and Bonnie Baird teaches all over – Dan Bish talking about doing classes at Plant Oregon. Anywhere would be acceptable North Mountain is a good advertising outlet. Have professional set $ of class and then N Mtn. guide would collect $$ from the attendees. Tree Commission would like to work with professionals (landscape architects, arborists) OR the Tree Commission could lend support and could assist with advertising for conference holders – lending name to organization. Tree Commission would need guidelines as to what is supported and what the criteria would be for that would be supported e.g. supporting United Pipe vs. Golf  vs. Rain bird. Etc.  Teaching, RCC through Parks.

Pruning clinics for property owners on how to maintain their street trees

Tree Walks

More Back page Articles


                Code Changes

Amend Heritage Tree Language (if joining state group for Heritage Tree – there is a definition)

                                Remove the deed restriction

                                Contact property owners

                                Create map

                                                Distinctive Tree List

                 Building Permits and Tree protection – outside of Planning Action

                 Education about cost savings / values; increases in tree preservation

                 Landscape Professional Ordinance (sign offs on irrigation plan and planting plan installations)

Arborist Retention throughout the duration of the project

                Add Arbor Week items – Earth day, Tree City USA,   


National Arbor Day Foundation Tree Line USA program– look into the requirements

                Group meeting with Forest Lands – Chris Chambers

Urban Forester position – oversight of all tree activities – have other departments fund Dave Woods position so that he can do the types of tree maintenance that the property owners cannot.

Street tree maintenance plan along boulevards – North Main / East Main


 ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Rinaldi adjourned the meeting at 8:25 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

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