PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
December 13, 2010
Present: Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Jackson; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies
Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.
CONTRACTS FOR CALLE RESTAURANTS AND ARTISANS
Dials welcomed everyone in attendance and said the Calle restaurant and artisan contracts would be reviewed and questions answered. She said the draft contract was the same as the previous year with the exception of the dates, which the commission changed to April 15 through November 15. She said the proposed 2011 contract dates would be April 15 through November 13 (a Friday through a Sunday). She said staff applied for a conditional use permit in 2010 on behalf of the artisans, allowing them to use the parking lot adjacent to the Community Development Building on Saturdays and Sundays during the season. She said square footage requested by artisans and restaurateurs ranged from 246 square feet to 1,600 (for the artisans). She said a concern from the previous year (about the area behind Websters not being utilized as a business entrance) was a continuing concern for the same reason. She said she would ask restaurant owners to put their space requests in writing before the February regular meeting.
Dials showed photos of the Calle both in-season and off-season, including shots of restaurants and artisan market vendors. She reviewed all Calle square footage requests in 2010 and recommended not raising fees in 2011. She asked for direction from the commission about the proposed dates and the draft contract.
Maria DiMaggio, 627 Tyler Creek Road, speaking as the Lithia Artisan’s Market manager, thanked Dials for her communication and support throughout the artisan season. She said the parking lot was an asset to the market and asked for better signage. She said Tom Beam from Sesame Restaurant worked with the artisans to accommodate their needs and the artisans and restaurateurs worked well together.
Tom DuBois, 1086 Beswick Way, speaking as the owner of Grilla Bites Restaurant, asked the commission if they received his letter from one month prior and said that although he signed the letter, other restaurateurs spoke to him about their support of the details contained within the letter.
Marcus Scott, 1205 Talent Avenue in Talent, speaking on behalf of the artisan market, referred to a document he distributed to the commission in which he asked the commission to retain the same $4 per square foot fee in 2011 as 2010. He said the ‘dark cloud’ of having Sesame granted space in the middle of the market had a silver lining, as the City allowed the artisans to use the parking lot adjacent to the Community Development Building, providing the artisans with more space and better visibility. He thanked Sesame owner Tom Beam for working with the artisans to resolve the situation and allow both artisan and restaurant businesses to thrive. He referenced a drawing of a potential market expansion in lower Lithia Park and asked the commission to again review the matter of the unused area behind Websters and consider allowing either artisans or restaurateurs to rent that space.
Tom Beam, 21 Winburn Way, owner of Sesame Asian Kitchen Restaurant, thanked the artisans (for bringing a great deal of business to downtown Ashland), other business owners, and the Parks Commission and staff and spoke in support of the artisan market expansion across the street along Winburn Way. He said the 2010 season was a great one and he hoped to do half as well in 2011.
Jim Young, 1102 Holton Road in Talent, spoke in support of continuing the cooperative relationship between the artisan market vendors, restaurateurs, Parks Commission and staff.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Noraas suggested having the commission review and discuss the unused space behind Websters if it was not going to be used as a business entrance. Rosenthal said he’d asked for the Calle season to begin on April 1 in 2010 but the commission chose to start the season on April 15. He said the extended season was to have been reviewed after a year and he asked staff for feedback on that change. Staff responded that the extended season went well. Rosenthal said the commission heard complaints about the square footage fees and that opening the Calle earlier (April 1) would allow artisans and restaurateurs to begin generating revenue earlier. Eggers said a discussion of a potential Calle season extension would need to be publicized before the meeting to allow for public input. She asked who was responsible for the strip of grass adjacent to Winburn Way (referenced in the market vendors’ drawing) and Robertson said it might be the Parks Department but he would need to confirm that. In terms of the area behind Websters, Dials said that if the space could be utilized by the artisan market, additional booths could be accommodated. Business owners spoke in support of encouraging Websters to open their back doors and make the area an inviting retail entrance and about other uses for that space if Websters chose not to use the area as a business entrance. In terms of an expanded market along Winburn Way as portrayed in the sketch provided by the artisans, Noraas said selling was not permitted in Lithia Park. Robertson said a market expansion in that area would require the commission’s approval, zoning approval, assurance that park infrastructure would not be damaged by such use, and confirmation that Parks was responsible for that section of land.
Dials said discussions at the February 28 regular meeting would include Calle restaurant square footage requests, the length of the Calle season, and the back entrance of Websters.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Eggers reported attending a workshop at the National Recreation and Parks Association conference at which the leader spoke of the value of long-term thinking and planning.
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF STUDY SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the study session at 8:15 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned into executive session at 8:15 p.m.
§ Executive Session: Employee Evaluation – ORS 192.660 (1)(i)
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the executive session at 10:05 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 10:05 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation