Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, October 18, 2010

City of Ashland





October 18, 2010


Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies

Absent:     City Council Liaison Jackson


Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.


Study Session – September 20, 2010

In the section entitled “Dog Forum,” Rosenthal said the sentence at the end of page one needed an additional word at the end: “Robertson said the format… was the same format used when the commission discussed the Daniel Meyer Pool and pesticides issues.”

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes [Noraas abstained]

Regular Meeting – September 27, 2010

In the section entitled “Request for Single-Source Procurement for Hunter Park Tennis Court Lights,” Rosenthal asked  that the “Gies” referenced at the top of that section be changed to “Steve Gies” to differentiate him from “Kari Gies” [who spoke on the previous topic].

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes [Noraas abstained]

Rosenthal asked staff for a response to the suggestion made at the September 27 regular meeting about incorporating amendments into the minutes of record. Eggers reported speaking with an attorney who said he preferred including changes in the minutes of record rather than reflecting changes in subsequent meeting minutes. Robertson said he would speak with the City Recorder and report back to the commission at the November regular meeting.



Dr. Vanston Shaw, 180 Lithia Way, speaking as President of the Jasmine Building Condo Owners Association, said a 100-foot-long gray wall behind the Jasmine Building on Lithia Way was an eyesore. He suggested having a two-dimensional representation of a park painted onto the wall, possibly in partnership with the Parks Commission and Public Arts Commission. He said the mural would help prevent graffiti.

The commission suggested having him speak with the Public Arts Commission.





Robertson said a neighborhood meeting was held on Thursday, October 7, at Bellview Elementary School to gather public input for the purpose of developing a master plan for the upper Clay Street park area adjacent to Chitwood Street and behind the Ashlander Apartments. He said it was a joint project between Parks and the affordable housing group RVCDC. He said the affordable housing developers needed to relocate the stormwater treatment bioswales on Parks property adjacent to that section of land. He said RVCDC agreed to pay for the cost of the master plan and contracted with Kerry KenCairn for that purpose.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner comments included:

§         Neighbors with small children were not represented at the public meeting.

§         From a Parks Commission perspective, no pressing need to move the process forward at this time.

§         The commission had a history of master planning long before developing parks.

§         Request for a map of the park site with circles around stormwater treatment bioswale areas.

Robertson said the joint nature of the project required the commission’s attention to the partner’s portion of the project. Landscape architect Kerry KenCairn said the meeting was noticed well, with over 300 letters mailed to residents within a ¼-mile to ½-mile radius of the park site. She said two elements needed to be discussed—the ditch that captured water from Chitwood and the bioswale to the south of the site. KenCairn offered to send a drawing to the commission showing the two areas under discussion and the commission discussed placing the topic at the beginning of the November 15 study session agenda.

Matt Terreri, 2252 Chitwood Lane, said his house bordered the park site. He said Chitwood was a tiny street and suggested that the park be a walk-to park rather than a drive-to park, as there was inadequate space for additional cars in that location.


Robertson said the commission held a dog forum on Monday, September 20, at Pioneer Hall and many community members attended. He asked the commission how they wished to proceed with the information gathered at the public meeting.

Public Input

Dr. Vanston Shaw, 180 Lithia Way, suggested allowing citizens to use City of Ashland parks with their dogs. He recommended requiring dog owners to display dog waste bags on dog leashes and to police themselves. He asked the commission not to punish responsible dog owners for the behavior of irresponsible dog owners.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners debated forming a subcommittee to address dogs in parks. Eggers said the topic should not take priority over other commission goals. Noraas said the topic of dogs was not just a Parks issue but also a City issue, since City ordinances were involved. She suggested pulling in other City departments to assess the topic, including the Ashland Police Department and Ashland City Council, and to include the topic on the goals list for the next fiscal year. Gardiner said other Oregon cities, comparable in size to Ashland, had less restrictive dog rules. He suggested researching their methods for administering and enforcing the less restrictive rules.

Commissioners agreed to discuss the topic among themselves at the November regular meeting.



Robertson said the mission of the Ashland Parks Foundation, at the time of its formation in the mid-1990s, was to serve as a non-profit organization for the benefit of Ashland Parks and Recreation. With the implementation of new accounting rules in the early 2000s, he said the foundation fell under the definition of a component unit of the Parks Department, along with all the layers associated with that classification. He said the rules for the foundation had changed and staff recommended modifying the Articles of Incorporation, as outlined by attorney Paul Nolte, to ensure that the foundation was not viewed as a component unit of the commission and the City and so that the Articles of Incorporation accurately reflected the composition and functions of the foundation.

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation for the Ashland Parks Foundation as outlined in the attachment dated September 2010. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes


Robertson said planner Mark Knox was representing a client who was proposing changes to 85 Winburn Way, the Winburn Way ice rink property, and the area in front of Pioneer Hall. He said Mark would share the client’s redevelopment plans with the commission.

Mark Knox of Urban Development Services LLC introduced the project team members and displayed drawings and models of the proposed redevelopment. He said proposed changes to City-owned land included replacing the rock wall next to Pioneer Hall with a seat wall, widening the sidewalk in that location, and providing public restrooms near the ice rink. He said the proposal for the main building required a zoning change from residential to commercial. He said the team had worked on the project for nearly two years and felt it would be a welcome addition to the area.

When asked about parking needs associated with the project, Knox said patrons could use the City parking spaces directly across the street and the project would be pedestrian-centric rather than auto-centric.

Robertson said several years earlier Parks staff applied for—but did not receive—a grant that would have provided funding for a permanent solution for skate storage and restrooms near the ice rink property. He said Parks staff recently met with representatives from the Ashland Rotary Club about fundraising for a permanent skate rental building and restrooms at the rink.

Commissioners thanked Knox for his presentation. They asked for the preservation of all significant trees in that area and for the team to be conscious of safety and flow on the street with regard to cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.


Dials said Nature Center staff asked to implement two art projects at North Mountain Park. She welcomed Linda Chesney and invited her to speak to the commission.

Environmental Stewardship Coordinator Linda Chesney said the two projects included a mosaic compass rose project in the Demonstration Gardens and an artistically designed cover for the fire pit at North Mountain Park. She said the compass rose project would be educational—orienting students and park visitors to the cardinal directions—and would provide an interesting interactive point of entry to the Demonstration Gardens. She said community members, students, and families would be able to participate in workshops led by mosaic artist Susan Springer and assist in the creation of the compass rose. When completed, she said the compass would be used in a variety of educational programs for students and community members. She said the total estimated project budget was $5,000 and funding would come from private donations, grants, the North Mountain Park budget, and workshop fees.

Chesney said the main purpose of the fire pit cover was to control access to the fire pit, facilitate easy fire building, and provide an inspirational backdrop for the fireside oral storytelling tradition typical of early native cultures. Once completed, she said the pit could be completely closed and locked when not in use, which would prevent unwanted fires. She said Jacksonville metal artist Cheryl D. Garcia developed a preliminary cover design that combined artistic form with practical function. She said the purchase cost for materials, fabrication, and delivery would be $3,600 and funds would come from a combination of private donations, grants, and the North Mountain Park budget.

Commissioners directed staff to proceed with soliciting funds for the projects.


Dials said Nature Center staff requested an exception to the tree climbing ordinance for a second tree climbing class on Saturday, April 9, 2011, at the Nature Center. She said the class would utilize the black walnut tree near the entrance to the Nature Center. Chesney said the tree was previously inspected and approved by former Parks horticulturist Donn Todt and students would climb the tree under the supervision of instructor Tim Kovar of Tree Climbing Northwest. Dials said the commission granted permission for a similar class in the same location in July of 2010. She said the 2010 class had eight enrolled students and the instructor received positive feedback from participants.

Motion Noraas moved to allow an exception to the tree climbing ordinance on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Lewis seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:   Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas – yes

                                                                 Rosenthal – no


Report of 2010 Lithia Park Guided Nature Walks

Robertson said Tom Foster prepared a report on the 2010 Lithia Park Guided Nature Walk Program. He said the season ended on September 29 and included 73 guided walks through Lithia Park led by volunteer tour guides. He said it was the 22nd season for the guided walks and 730 visitors and residents participated from May through September.

“Webclimber” Report

Gies said the Scotland-based manufacturer of the Lithia Park “Webclimber” had completed repairs on the playground climbing structure and would ship it back to Ashland in the near future.




  • Study session set for November 15 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topics:
    • Chitwood Park Discussion
    • Annual Review of Fees and Charges
  • Regular meeting set for November 22 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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