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Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, October 19, 2009

City of Ashland




October 19, 2009



Present:         Commissioners Eggers, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies

Absent:       Commissioners Gardiner, Lewis; City Council Liaison Silbiger; Superintendent Dials


Noraas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.


Robertson distributed the list of FY 2009-2010 commission goals and said they included reviews of 1) Lithia Park master plan preliminary steps and 2) the upper and lower Clay Street properties.

Robertson said master plans were roadmaps for the future. He displayed the original Lithia Park landscape plan and another plan created after the 1979 flood. He said funds were not set aside in the current fiscal year for a Lithia Park master plan. He said master plans normally required comprehensive surveys along with evaluations of natural and historic elements.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers said Ashland Creek was the heart of the park along with its banks and surrounding vegetation. She suggested reviewing the entire creek—located within park boundaries—with help from local biologists, hydrologists, and other environmental experts. She spoke of developing a vision for the park for the sake of present and future park users.

Rosenthal said some park elements might not be sustainable into the future, including the Perozzi Fountain.  He suggested allocating resources for essential features, which would eventually replace non-essentials.

Gies suggested referring to the National Register of Historic Places before designating park elements as essential or non-essential.

Noraas suggested including the public in the master planning process. She said Lithia Park was a regional park rather than a local park but it received only local funding. She suggested targeting grants for the Lithia Park master planning project.

Robertson proposed hiring a temporary, one-year staff person to serve as project manager, with staff and commissioners preparing project guidelines in advance.

Rosenthal said even a part-time project manager could trigger the loss of an existing staff position due to budget constraints.

Next Steps

Staff was directed to create a draft plan for the commission’s consideration and to include dollar figures. They were also instructed to schedule an additional study session to review the matter in more detail.


Robertson said both the upper and lower Clay Street properties were identified for acquisition within the Open Space Plan. He said the lower portion hadn’t been purchased due to lack of funding while the upper portion was purchased. He said a neighbor of the upper area requested an easement across the land and the housing authority expressed interest in placing affordable housing units at that location. He encouraged the commission to identify elements for inclusion within the future park site.

Commissioners agreed that identifying elements for the park site would provide clarity to community members. After thorough discussion about the upper Clay Street property, commissioners chose open lawn, playground, ADA-accessible parking spaces, walkways, drinking fountains, community garden plots, benches, and trash receptacles. Commissioners expressed their intention to work with neighbors to control access to the creek and to restrict vehicular access through the park.

With regard to the lower Clay Street site, Robertson said the outcome of the Food and Beverage Tax ballot initiative would greatly influence the commission’s ability to purchase the land.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Noraas adjourned the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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