Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 08, 2009



September 8, 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, Lemhouse and Chapman were present.  Councilor Jackson arrived at 8:13 p.m. Councilor Silbiger was absent.



Mayor Stromberg shared a recent conversation he had with a soldier enlisted in the 1/186th Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186).


He went on to note vacancies on the Transportation, Tree, Conservation, Housing and Forest Lands Commissions.



The minutes of the Regular Council meeting of August 18, 2009 and Special Meeting of August 25, 2009 were approved as presented.



Mayor's Proclamation of September 11 – 20, 2009 as Eat Local Week was read aloud.


Annie Hoy/237 N First Street/Spoke on behalf of the Ashland Coop and The Rogue Initiative for a Vital Economy (Thrive) regarding the activities for Eat Local Week.  She explained Thrive is a local nonprofit organization that spearheads buy local and eat local events in Jackson and Josephine Counties.  For Eat Local Week, the Ashland Coop teamed up with Thrive to show how possible it is to eat within a 200-mile radius.  She thanked the Council for the proclamation and invited everyone to participate and visit the following websites, and 


Mayor Stromberg changed the Executive Session scheduled for September 22, 2009 regarding the nudity ordinance to a public session without objection from Council.



1.   Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Jim Mills dba Caldera Brewing Company at 540 Clover Lane?

3.   Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Jim Mills dba Caldera Tap House at 31 B Street?

4.   Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Emil McMillan dba BZ's Last Stand & Hacienda at 18 Calle Guanajuato?

5.   Will the Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a Special Procurement requesting approval to enter into a contract with JACO Environmental to operate and offer a refrigerator and freezer recycling program to Ashland residents?

6.   Will the Council approve a joint funding agreement with the US Geological Survey to continue the ongoing water data collection program which requires the City to provide one half of the $48,240 annual cost authorize the City Administrator to sign future agreements?

7.   Will the Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, award the contract for surplus transformers to Jerry's Electric, Inc. who submitted the highest bid of $8,245.26?


Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.







1.   Will Council authorize staff to conduct Cross Connection surveys/site visits of water customers that also have Talent Irrigation District (TID) irrigation connections to determine if a cross connection exists?

Public Works Director Mike Faught introduced Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector Rick Hackstock and Water Quality Technician Larry Elliott and presented the staff report.  The City has identified 1,036 customers with both City water and TID services that may have a cross connection.  If there are cross connections, the customer is required to install a back flow device, either an Air Gap or a Reduced Pressure Principal Backflow Prevention Assembly (RP).  Currently there are 2,500 cross connections with certified back flow devices, 33% actually using the preferred RP devices.


Staff will notify the residents involved and conduct approximately 300 inspections a year with the entire process targeted for completion in 3.5 years with ongoing inspections annually.  The ordinance specifies residents must install a back flow device or the City will turn off their potable water. Following the code for utility shut off for non-payment, the resident has 30 days to comply with the option to go to the City Recorder to file an appeal through the Council.  If there is no appeal, the process to shut off water takes about 60 days.  Currently the City does not have the funds to subsidize customers who cannot afford a cross connection.   


Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to approve authorization for staff to conduct Cross Connection surveys and site visits of water customers that also have Talent Irrigation District irrigation connections to determine if a cross connection exists.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.


Staff added that customers with a cross connection could opt to disconnect from the TID service to avoid having their potable water shut off.



1.   Does the Council have questions for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on the work of the Aesthetic Advisory Committee for Exit 14 and Exit 19?

Management Analyst Ann Seltzer provided background on the Aesthetic Advisory Committee (AAC) and introduced John Galbraith from Galbraith and Associates.  Mr. Galbraith explained how the committee made the architectural and aesthetic decisions for both bridges and that exit 14 will have signal lights and increased visibility.


Council requested the public have the opportunity to address the functionality of both exits.  ODOT will maintain the landscape at both exits, using City water to irrigate Exit 14 and for the first year only, truck in water for the sustainable plants at Exit 19.  The City will maintain the banners and the inside of the bridge through an inter agency agreement.  Ms. Seltzer shared citizen input regarding space under the streetlights for banners.  The City will have a design contest and pay to have the banners professionally manufactured. City Administrator Martha Bennett added staff was currently updating the banner policy and will present to Council soon.


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Voiced concern regarding the banners commenting the ones used in the downtown area were outdated and hoped they would not be used for the bridge.


Council discussed using hanging baskets instead of banners and possibly removing the centerpiece railing design on the bridge railing.


2.   Should the Council waive Community Development and Engineering fees in the amount of $38,295 (22,770 in Community Development fees and $15,525 in Engineering fees) for 15 affordable ownership housing units being developed by Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation and known as Rice Park?

Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained staff was recommending the Council not approve waiving the fees due to concerns regarding the timing of the request and previous project shortfalls in revenues related to the overall economic downturn in higher-valued development activity.  The project will receive a $97,000 waiver of system development charges (SDC).  Requirements requested by the Council when the annexation was approved in 2007 are in the process of being met.


Valri Williams/744 Helman Street/Noted the City has been supportive of affordable housing and passed an ordinance requiring units are energy efficient.  The requirements specified in the ordinance must be met even though the economy has changed.  She encouraged the Council’s support.


John Wheeler/Executive Director Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC)/Explained Rice Park is a mutual self-help project where homeowners build their homes and RVCDC hires the plumber, electrician, heating/air and helps with roofing and concrete.  The homes are earth advantage platinum rated homes and will have everything an energy star or platinum home has except the photovoltaic panel; however, wiring will be in place. The result is the home will use 40% of the energy that a regular home the same size would use.  Rice Park is an earth advantage sustainable community pilot project that will gain national recognition and set the mark for all others.  Building the homes will put over $2million back into the local economy.


Councilor Jackson arrived at 8:13 p.m.


Mr. Wheeler stated it is difficult to obtain grant money for this type of project and RVCDC was unaware of the added requirements last year.  The Verde Village agreement had that project putting in streets, re-routing the bike path, creating the riparian area and providing water, electric, sewer and storm drain to Rice Park.  Unfortunately, the Verde Village project was not moving quickly enough and in order to meet deadlines, the Rice Park project made public improvements totaling approximately $200,000.  It was unknown if the Verde Village project would be able to reimburse Rice Park for the full amount.


It was further explained families receive loans from the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program but are not eligible for supplemental loans to defer the costs.  RVCDC did not set aside money for the Community Development and Engineering fees because the City had previously waived the fees for the Faith/Siskiyou and Terrace Court projects and RVCDC assumed it was a precedent.


Councilor Lemhouse/Chapman m/s to waive all Community Development and Engineering fees in the amount of $38,295.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought it fair to continue support for the project since the Council set the requirements originally and RVCDC had met them at an increased cost. 

Councilor Chapman was proud the City took the step requiring energy efficiency in affordable housing and RVCDC responded.  The Clay Street project was not under the same energy efficient requirements and had received large financial incentives Rice Park did not get.  It seemed fair and reasonable to waive the fees for Rice Park.  Councilor Navickas noted the City had allowed RVCDC and the developers the annexation and did not think the City could afford to waive the fees when it was cutting Fire Fighter and Police Officer positions.  


City Administrator Martha Bennett confirmed the Community Development and Engineering fees were waived for the Faith/Siskiyou and Terrace Court projects. 


Councilor Voisin supported waiving the fees; the project will contribute $2million to the community, and establish Ashland as a model for affordable housing.  It was important to continue to support this effort. 

Councilor Jackson supported RVCDC projects and thought the City needed to extend the same privileges to Rice Park that had been extended in other cases.  Councilor Navickas asked the Council to remember this decision during the next budget season and support raising the tax rate in order to subsidize programs like these.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Lemhouse and Jackson, YES; Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-1.



2.   Does Council approve first reading of an ordinance adding chapter 18.63, Water Resource Protection Zones and related Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance amendments?

Community Development Director Bill Molnar, Planning Manager Maria Harris and the Council reviewed the list under Background on the Council Communication starting with requirement #6.  Provide Exemption for Maintenance and Restoration of Water Resources in Public Parks.  Council and staff discussed the Type 1 Planning Process, whether the exemption undermined the ordinance and undercut credibility.  The consensus was not to make changes to this requirement. 


For requirement #7.  Provide Exemption for Existing Agricultural Activities, Council directed staff to   make the language more generic and add a statement about all legally existing non-conforming uses being allowed to continue.


Staff clarified the question under #8.  Provide Exemption for Stream Restoration Activities with Limited Impacts should read “less than 1,000 sq. ft,” instead of “greater than.” Council expressed concerns on the exemption being a potential loophole, sequential projects and restricting property owners from using their riparian areas.  Staff will restrict the exemption to single-family properties, research the loophole and sequential projects issues and report back to Council.


Council and staff addressed #9.  Mitigation Requirements and Hardship Variances and decided to make no changes to this requirement.   


Council discussed the pros and cons of changing Type I and II procedures, and the percentage from 50% to 25% under requirement #10.  Water Resource Protection Zone Reductions and requested further information from staff to consider making changes.


Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to continue first reading to October 20, 2009 at which time Council will consider a revised draft of the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Chapman, Navickas, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.



1.   Should the Council conduct and approve first reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Exclusions from Park Property and Amending AMC 10.68.350" and schedule the ordinance for second reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello explained staff had increased the 10-day exclusion to 120 to align with the Portland ordinance.  Police Chief Terry Holderness added the Police Department rarely used the ordinance and it took a significant event or series of events for someone to be excluded.  Mr. Appicello noted a tier could be established giving criminal violations a longer exclusion and non-criminal violations a lesser exclusion.  Council requested the City Attorney create an exclusion tier for violations as well as a fee tier.  Mr. Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Navickas/Chapman m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading of ordinance October 6, 2009.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Chapman and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Would the Council approve first reading of an ordinance to amend Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 2.41, "Voluntary Contribution & Spending Limits for Candidates for City Offices" and schedule the ordinance for second reading?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided the staff report and thanked the citizens who participated in revising the ordinance.  The consensus of the group was to make the ordinance consistent with State election law.  Pam Vavra, a participant, had proposed a formula based on the number of registered voters and the first class postage rate.  Ms. Christensen noted a change to Section 2.41.050 Expenditure Limits(B) that referred to subsection A. instead of subsection B. and the addition of the appeals process. 


Council and staff discussed the appeals process and having the Council select the Hearings Officer for appeals.


Steve Hauck/453 Wightman Street/Supported the changes to the ordinance and explained the original ordinance covered contingencies that the State law did not in 1995.  Oregon State has since improved State Election law and it made sense to revise the City ordinance accordingly.  The formula presented was more realistic and modernized the ordinance. 


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Commented previous elections were possibly swayed by the large amount of campaign funds used.  He disagreed with the proposed formula explaining people used TV, the internet and usually mailed political flyers second-class mail instead of first class.  The limit needed to reflect the overall costs associated to campaign expenditures.  


Ms. Christensen explained campaign expenditures were reported online.  The Council and Mayor discussed publishing candidates who did not abide by voluntary expenditures and revising the proposed formula.  Staff was directed to come back to Council with revisions.


City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading and place on the agenda for the second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Jackson, Voisin and Navickas, YES; Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-1.


3.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending the Uniform Administrative Appeals Process AMC Chapter 2.30 and AMC 1.04.010 Definitions," and move the ordinance on to second reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.


Councilor Lemhouse/Navickas m/s to approve first reading of the ordinance and move to second reading for the next Council meeting.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Jackson, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


4.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance amending Council Rules Chapter 2.04.090, 2.04.100 and 2.04.110 to add Council Rules relating to commissions and liaisons, and move the ordinance on to second reading?

Delayed due to time constraints.


5.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance providing for uniform policies and operating procedures for advisory commissions, committees and boards, adding new AMC Chapters 2.10, 2.11, 2.15, 2.19 and 2.29 and amending AMC Chapters 2.12, 2.13, 2.17, 2.18, 2.21, 2.23, 2.24, 2.25 and repealing four resolutions, and move the ordinance on to second reading?

Delayed due to time constraints.



1.   Planning Commission

2.   Sister City 40th Anniversary Visit

Delayed due to time constraints.



Delayed due to time constraints.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.




Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                 


John Stromberg, Mayor





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