Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



November 17, 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, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.



Mayor Stromberg read an excerpt on the physical and mental observations made by National Guard medics in the Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) to an Oregonian newspaper reporter currently in Iraq.


Vacancies on the Tree Commission, Conservation Commission, Housing Commission, Forest Lands Commission and the Planning Commission were noted.


Councilor Voisin removed discussions regarding the AFR letter and Council seating from the agenda.



The minutes of the Study Session of November 2, 2009 and Regular Council of November 3, 2009 were approved as presented.



Assistant Planner Amy Gunter introduced Tree Commissioner Chair Zane Jones and announced the winner of the 2009 Tree of the Year was the Dogwood located at 634 Iowa Street.  She went on to note the work and accomplishments of the Tree Commission in the community.


Will Council authorize the Mayor to sign the World Mayors and Local Governments Climate Protection Agreement Signature Form?

Councilor Jackson explained ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is an organization that provides guidance on climate change issues to local governments and provided history on the World Mayors and Local Governments Climate Protection Agreement Signature Form.  Council consensus was to have the Mayor to sign the agreement.



1.   Will Council approve a resolution authorizing the Investment Policy of the City of Ashland and Repealing Resolution No. 98-16?

2.   Should Council approve a resolution adjusting the FY2009-2010 Budget to create appropriations and authorize expenditures for unanticipated expenses during this year?

3.   Should Council accept the quarterly report as presented?

4.   Will Council direct Mayor Stromberg to sign a letter of support to the Siskiyou Regional Railroad Authority in their efforts to seek funding to reopen the Black Butte Branch Line that runs from Black Butte California (near Weed) to Bellevue Oregon (just south of Ashland)?

5.   Will Council approve an engineering services contract with KAS & Associates, Inc. in the amount of $28,425 to complete the preliminary engineering and provide construction engineering services for the Jefferson Avenue Extension (Brammo) project?


Councilor Jackson requested that Consent Agenda item #5 be pulled for discussion. Mayor Stromberg requested that Consent Agenda item #4 be pulled for further clarification.


Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-3. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson clarified the purpose of the amended communication to Consent Agenda Item #5 was to correct a statement in the AMC Section that applies to the Jefferson Street Expansion contract.  In the original agreement, Mr. Bramscher was responsible for providing the engineering, permitting and a packet that was bid-ready to the City.  The process struggled for several years and consequently contractors are now reluctant to move forward.  Staff felt the project would get back on schedule if the City had full control. The costs for services come from the Economic Development Grant and Loan.  The change would correct a reference from AMC Section 2.50 to AMC Section C.  The current engineering services have the plans 95% complete and no other engineers could start from the beginning and meet the timeframe. 


Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #5. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Chapman briefly explained the history, process and efforts supporting reopening the railroad line by acquiring the tracks and creating a public and private entity. 


Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.




PUBLIC FORUM (None)      



1.   Should the Council approve first reading of ordinances amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) to include Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones and make related amendments of the ALUO and Comprehensive Plan regarding the protection of wetlands, streams and riparian corridors?

Mayor Stromberg explained the public hearing and record was closed for this item.  Community Development Director Bill Molnar presented the staff report on the revisions to the draft ordinance.  Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation of revisions that included:


Additions/Deletions to Native and Prohibited Plant Lists – 18.63.030 (pp 4-5)

Plants may be added and removed from the lists in consultation with:

·         City Horticulturist

·         Tree Commission

·         Other Professional groups with demonstrable expertise

·         Local, state and federal agencies

Consolidate Sections

·         18.60.030, pp12-23 – combined exempt activities and uses

·         18.63.070, pp 23-27 – combined limited activities and uses

Chapter 18.63

·         Purpose, Definitions, Zones & Exemptions – pp 1-18

·         Regulated Activities & Standards – pp 18-24

·         Approval Process and Plan Requirements – pp 25-33

·         Map Adjustments and Enforcement – pp33-34

Eliminate Restoration for Exempt Activities

·         18.63.060, p 12 – Deleted requirement

·         18.63.060A.1.d, p 13 – Replace removed vegetation OAR 660-023-090(8); Blackberry removal before and after bird nesting season as recommended by the ODFW

Use of Equipment or Machinery - 18.63.060.A.1.i and 18.63.070.A-1, p 13 and p 23

·         Exempt if soil disturbance and erosion are minimized

·         Permit required when equipment use won’t meet exemption

·         Native plants are retained

·         Replanting disturbed areas


Staff retained the original definition of power-assisted equipment as anything over 100lbs in weight allowing  the performance measures to address equipment size issues.


Nonconforming Activities, Uses and Structures – 18.63.060.A.3, p 15

·         Nonconforming activities, uses and structures may continue

Stream Restoration with Limited Impacts – 18.63.060.B.2, p 22

·         Exempt when limited impacts

·         Limited to singles-family properties

·         No stream restoration or enhancement work in past 12 months

Water Resource Protection Zone Reductions – 18.63.080, pp 28-30

·         Up to 25% reduction Type I

·         Over 25% up to 50% Type II

·         Approval criteria reorganized

Hardship Variances – 18.63.090, pp 30

·         Approval criteria edited and reorganized

Distribution of Native Plants in Protection Zones – 18.63.120, pp 35-36 & p 39

·         Limited to development requiring a planning action approval

·         50% coverage in native plants with all new native trees

First Reading

·         Updated wetland and riparian corridor regulations (Ch. 18.63)

·         Consistency with floodplain and procedures chapters (Ch. 18.62 and Ch. 18.108)

·         Local Wetlands Inventory (LWI) as approved by state (DSL)

·         New and updated resource maps


Staff explained non-residential zoning districts that were not historic districts were not addressed in 18.63.060(3) (D)The Replacement of Non-conforming Structures is Non-Residential Zoning Districts and Within Historic Districts to allow reconstruction of historic buildings in protection zones in the downtown area.


Council wanted to add language that would allow reconstruction of public facilities and parking lots in the event they were damaged by disaster.     


Council and staff discussed adding fencing standards to C. Additional Exempt Activities and Uses within Wetland Protection Zones. (2)Fences or having a public information handout with fencing examples. 


City Attorney Richard Appicello read aloud the title of the ordinance to amend the Comprehensive Plan.


Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading an ordinance amending City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan Chapter 4 Environmental Resources to a Mitigated Resources Map,  and Adopting the Local Wetlands Inventory as a Supporting Document.

Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Silbiger and Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Mr. Appicello read aloud the title of the ordinance amending the Ashland Land Use ordinance adding Chapter 18.63.

Councilor Navickas/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading an ordinance amending the Ashland Land Use ordinance creating a new Chapter 18.63 Water Resources Protection Zone.  DISCUSSION:  City Administrator Martha Bennett explained that staff would review the reconstruction guidelines in the ordinance for public facilities destroyed by disaster for second reading.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Navickas, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Silbiger, Voisin and Chapman, NO; Mayor Stromberg, YES. Motion passed 5-3.


Council commented the ordinance was not user friendly.  The property built citywide was not adequately protected and suggested changing the language under 3. Nonconforming Activities, Use and Structures (D) to read, “Replacement of Nonconforming structures and improvements in non-residential zoning districts or within historic districts.”


Mr. Appicello read aloud the title of the ordinance amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance Physical and Environmental Constraints Chapter AMC 18.62.


Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to approve first reading and move to second reading an ordinance amending AMC Chapter 18.62 Physical and Environmental Constraints, AMC 18.08 Procedures Chapter.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman would not support the motion although he thought this was the best version presented.  He sited the master trail at Belleview School, as an example where there was no attempt to restore the riparian area along the creek and noted this ordinance would not help to improve similar situations in the future.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Navickas, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin and Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-2.



1.   Does the Council wish to appoint a citizen taskforce to look at a possible General Obligation Bond Levy  to fund capital projects for Public Safety Facilities?

City Administrator Martha Bennett presented the staff report recommending the Council establish a citizen’s committee to determine whether the City should seek a General Obligation Bond Levy for Fire Station No. 2, the Police Department remodel, a potential public safety training facility and a new ladder truck.


Council suggested the citizen committee determine potential election dates as well and briefly discussed additional Fire Department staff. 


Chief Karns explained the new fire truck would reside at Fire Station No. 1 with the Fire Department possibly reducing one of their six ambulances to accommodate space.


Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s that the City appoint a Citizen’s Committee on possible Public Safety Facility General Obligation Bond Levy.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Silbiger acknowledged the need but did not think this was the appropriate time and would not support the motion.  Council should be focusing on Fire Station No. 2 that was one of the Council Goals, not other facilities.   He was concerned this could result in a huge package ultimately out of line with what the City could afford.   Councilor Navickas thought the intent of the committee would be to shorten the list and this was a good process to go through.  Councilor Voisin felt this was an issue for the citizenry to decide and it was important to have a committee.  Councilor Lemhouse understood Councilor Silbiger’s concerns and thought Council could reiterate the focus of the committee and direct them to come back with a strategy.  Councilor Jackson commented on the value of having a committee with the expectation of critical input.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Navickas, Lemhouse and Voisin YES; Councilor Chapman and Silbiger, NO; Motion passed 4-2.



1.   Should Council approve second reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Ashland Municipal Code 10.44.012 and AMC 10.44.020, Relating to Public Nudity and Penalties"?

City Attorney Richard Appicello described the suggested changes in the revised ordinance.  He requested that Council continue second reading to December 15, 2009 to allow time to research ordinance language used by other jurisdictions and freedom of expression.  


Police Chief Terry Holderness provided the timeline and details from encounters the Police Department had with the individual from Minnesota who came to Ashland.  Minnesota authorities confirmed he came from that state but the Ashland Police Department was unable to verify a prior arrest in another state for indecent exposure that the individual had willingly volunteered.  Chief Holderness shared complaints the department received due to the man’s presence and acknowledged public nudity was a volatile emotional issue when practiced around children.  He went on to explain that the process officers use, when notified of naked individuals, include initial contact to ascertain they are not experiencing any psychological or substance abuse issues and there is no other problem.


Council and staff discussed the citation process, how treating it as a violation rather than a crime limited the exposure on the City’s part and escalation. 


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Noted previously that half the Council did not agree with the existing nudity ban and thought it should be repealed.  The Mayor’s tie breaking vote sent a message that citizens need to make the decision on taking away or retaining rights assured them in the Oregon Constitution.  He referenced nude war protests that have occurred in Ashland, read from Resolution 2003-05, urged Council to reject the ordinance and put it on the ballot.


Mayor Stromberg thought there were two issues regarding public nudity.  The first was having a stranger taking it upon him or herself to expose children to someone’s genitalia. He did not agree with that behavior and noted School Superintendent Juli DiChiro’s public testimony from the previous meeting.  Children do not have the adult development to handle experiences that adults can deal with safely and it is the parents’ choice to decide when that exposure can or cannot occur.  The other issue was Ashland as a tolerant community dealing with unusual behavior without becoming alarmed.  There was a range that people tolerate as part of a healthy society that does not impose restrictions on people. 


Councilor Voisin was concerned with the speed the decision was being made and wanted to understand better, how a parents control for a child, had more authority and value than a community’s spirit of tolerance.  She did not think the ban was about the safety of children and used bullying as an example.  She requested removing the child protection element out of the nudity ban issue.


Councilor Lemhouse was adamantly against removing the child safety component and referenced his 15 years working in law enforcement, the crimes committed against children and the impact it has on their lives.  He agreed that bullying was an important issue and noted the harassment laws, disorderly conduct and assault laws against it.  He rejected the idea that it was more important for a community to have tolerance than to protect their children.  All rights have limitations to protect society. 


Councilor Navickas noted the definition of protecting children was critical in this circumstance.  He felt Council was placing moral views onto society and cautioned against overstepping the boundary of the place of government.  The first amendment protected all forms of free speech.  In the realm of public nudity, it  is difficult to define specifically what is doing harm to someone.  Out of respect to the concerns of parents and the people wanting to protect children, he suggested the nudity ban apply only to school zones.  It would allow the community to continue to support freedom of expression and focus on the real issue. 


Councilor Chapman suggested changing the violations to a B or a C violation, strike the language regarding changing rooms and add specific language indicating the interest was only in nudity that intentionally targets children not just being around children.


Councilor Silbiger commented how community thinks of themselves as tolerant but there were plenty of things not tolerated such as dogs in parks and smoking.  Community members define where that line is.  It was his personal opinion that public nudity was not a moral or a first amendment issue.  He wanted to support a ban around school zones but it seemed impossible to define.  Next would be determining whether it was in the best interest to ban public nudity or not. It was a dividing line on what is tolerated or not.


Councilor Jackson explained the issue was making families and children feel safe, a view supported by the School Superintendent and a variety of teachers from the schools.  The current nudity ban was more protective of businesses and tourists than it was of community and families.   She noted the lengths the City went to encourage parents to let their children walk to school and the anti-bully efforts going on at the schools.


Councilor Voisin clarified her question was to what extent do parents have the right to protect their children when that extent starts imposing and infringing on others rights.  She suggested giving the police authority to cite or arrest any individual intentionally naked around a school. 


Councilor Navickas did not see those supporting the ban willing to compromise.  He thought Council should vote it down and discuss compromise.  Councilor Jackson saw it as differences of opinion on whether a ban on nudity violates peoples’ rights to free expression instead of an issue with compromise. 


Councilor Lemhouse noted that there had been previous comments made, that may have been unintentional but were unfair, and felt he had to respond.  He made it clear that public nudity around children was not a moral or religious issue to him, it was a safety issue.  An apology was issued as well as an explanation for comments made.   


Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to continue second reading until December 15, 2009 Council meeting.

DISCUSSION:  Council and staff discussed the implications of continuing second reading to allow the City Attorney time to conduct legal research.  Councilor Chapman wanted to change the violation to a C level and eliminate the language “…in view of a public place outside.” Councilor Lemhouse suggested language indicating intentional nudity in a private residence viewed from a public place that would allow police to issue a citation and put the burden on the City to prove it was intentional.  Councilor Navickas expressed concern adding that language would allow an arrest or citation and then court.  People have the right to be nude on their private property unless they are violating the indecency law.  City Administrator Martha Bennett explained removing “…in view of a public space,” would not affect intention because the police will not be able it issue a citation.  Staff would research and provide alternative language options for the next reading. Councilor Navickas noted Council did not fully support the ordinance and wanted a compromise that protected freedom of expression, allowed events involving public nudity in other parts of town and focused on protecting the schools and specific areas around schools. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Silbiger, Jackson, Lemhouse, Chapman and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 2.04.090, 2.04.100, and 2.04.110 Relating to Council Rules"?

City Administrator Martha Bennett provided the staff report.  City Attorney Richard Appicello noted language Councilor Jackson submitted and language submitted by Councilor Silbiger from “Roberts Rules.”


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Thought term limits should be equitable across all commissions instead of 3 four-year terms for the Planning Commission while all other commissions have 3 three-year term limits.  Six years on each commission would be sufficient.


Council suggested new language for term limits and discussed the pros and cons of changing term limits with staff.  In regards to Chair Participation, Council decided to allow the Chair to participate and make motions.  For codifying progression from Vice Chair to Chair, Council thought it would be helpful to codify.  Staff would provide suggested language at the next reading.


Council discussed removal from a Commission with or without cause, if Council opted for a hearing; staff recommended it go through the Administrative Appeals Ordinance.  Steps preceding escalation would include a warning from the Mayor with Council confirming actual removal using a possible 4-vote majority.  Staff clarified the Planning Commission follows State laws so removal with or without cause would not apply to that commission.


Councilor Silbiger thought Section 2.04.090(B) Ad-hoc Committees and Task Forces should read, “The Mayor shall have authority with consent of the Council to form ad-hoc committees.” Other suggestions included changing the Audit Committee to the Audit Commission and updating student liaison information to allow that role on any commission except the Planning Commission and Budge Committee.  Another change would remove the City Recorder as the fifth voting member on the Audit Committee.  He began a discussion on the Airport Commission voting unanimously for a member to be a voting member for the Transportation Commission.


Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to continue first reading of both Commission related ordinances to the December 15, 2009 Council meeting.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


3.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance providing for uniform policies and operating procedures from advisory commissions, committees and boards?

First reading continued to December 15, 2009.



1.   Discussion regarding AFR letter – item removed by Councilor Voisin.

2.   Discussion regarding Council Seating – item removed by Councilor Voisin.

3.   Discussion regarding default on a Food and Beverage Tax Agreement – delayed due to time constraints.

4.   Report on Regional Problem Solving – electronic report submitted to Council by Councilor Jackson.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor


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