Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, July 25, 2011

City of Ashland
July 25, 2011

Present: Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendent Dials; Interim Superintendent Hammers

Absent: City Council Liaison Slattery

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

Special Meeting – June 20, 2011
Commissioners tabled approval of the June 20 special meeting minutes until the next regular meeting.

Study Session – June 20, 2011
Commissioners tabled approval of the June 20 study session minutes until the next regular meeting.

Special Meeting – June 22, 2011
Commissioners tabled approval of the June 22 special meeting minutes until the next regular meeting.

Regular Meeting – June 27, 2011
MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as presented. Seffinger seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Open Forum
Vanston Shaw, 
180 Lithia Way #208, said he previously sent a letter to the commission asking for all parks to be opened to dogs on leashes with the exception of Lithia Park. He said he was now asking the commission to remove restrictions on dogs in all parks and to allow Ashland taxpayers to use their parks with their families, including their dogs.

Jody Zonnenschein, 75 Brooks Lane, said she recently visited the Bay Area and spent time in a neighborhood park that permitted dogs off leash. She said the park users visited the park with their dogs when children were in school and also took responsibility for cleaning up their neighborhood facility. She asked the commission to consider ways Ashland residents could live together and share public space.

Colleen Shanahan, 579 Fordyce Street, providing a report on the work of “Ashland Loves Dogs,” said the group was seeking dog owners willing to patrol neighborhood parks. She said an alternative to the commission’s idea about keeping dogs on park pathways was to provide potty areas or segregated sections in parks for dogs.

Vicki Bamman, 330 E. Hersey, a small business owner and member of “Ashland Loves Dogs,” encouraged the commission to consider allowing leashed dogs in all Ashland parks, even Lithia Park, which she called the “crown jewel of Ashland.” She said dog owners were seldom able to visit their own crown jewel because dogs were not allowed and she proposed a possible dog area or dog trail through the park.

The commission agreed to move the New Business item “Selling in Lithia Park—Requests for Exemptions to City Ordinance” forward to accommodate those wishing to speak on the topic.

Selling in Lithia Park—Requests for Exemptions to City Ordinance

Dials said staff received two requests for selling in Lithia Park: The Siskiyou Challenge, a six-leg multi-sport relay race scheduled for September 24, with proceeds benefiting the non-profit Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S); and Southern Oregon Pride Celebration scheduled for October 1, a City-sponsored event. She said The Siskiyou Challenge organizers pulled their request when they learned of the costs associated with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for selling in the park but S.O. Pride was requesting booths for information, vendors, and food sales. She said Lithia Park was zoned R-1-7.5 south of Nutley so anyone selling in Lithia Park needed a CUP from the City that cost more than $1,000 and took 45 days to process in addition to permission and a permit from the Parks Commission. She said if the commission chose to approve the special event request, staff would want a written site plan 30 days prior, a site plan meeting with staff 15-20 days prior, potable water for food vendors, liability insurance, special Fire Safety permits, payment of any fees, portable toilets, electricity requirements in advance, and adherence to the rule about not staking into park grounds.

The commission heard input from Southern Oregon Pride organizer Gina DuQuenne who asked the commission to make an exemption to the ordinance against selling in Lithia Park. She said the commission could use their response to this request as a blueprint for future similar requests. Lewis asked DuQuenne whether she had considered other venues for her selling request and she said she would consider selling in Claycomb Plaza rather than in Lithia Park. Lewis said the commission previously discussed obtaining a CUP as an investment toward future bookings of groups wishing to sell.

MOTION Landt moved to deny the request by Southern Oregon Pride for an exemption to the ordinance prohibiting selling in Lithia Park. Lewis seconded the motion.

Discussion of Motion
Seffinger said she was not in favor of the exemption because there was no process in place for approving such requests.

The vote was: Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger – yes
Rosenthal – no

Rosenthal said he voted “no” because the event was sponsored by the City of Ashland and the motion denied support of a City-sponsored event.

Bluebird Park Stairway Design Approval

Robertson welcomed architect Greg Covey and invited him to speak to the commission.
Covey said he was hired by the commission to redesign the Bluebird Park stairway. He displayed the draft stairway design and gave an overview of the project and proposed materials. He said the estimated project cost of $37,350 included demolition and site control, site work, concrete, steel, and powder coating but not project management costs, City permit fees, testing and inspection fees, or repair/replacement of Water Street and N. Main Street public sidewalk guardrails. He said steel would last twice as long as wood but wood cost less. Robertson said $25,000 was budgeted in the CIP for the stairway but the commission had the discretion of spending more for the project if needed. The commission debated including vertical versus horizontal pickets on stair railings.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners asked a number of clarifying questions for which Covey provided answers.

MOTION Landt moved to approve the stairway design for Bluebird Park and to use metal versus wood, vertical rails, square stock as discussed, and include a five-foot landing, with staff working with Covey on additional details. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Sewer Line Request for Ashland Creek Park

Robertson said Public Works staff approached Parks about replacing an existing 100-year-old sewer line across a portion of Ashland Creek Park. He welcomed Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson and Engineering Technician III Morgan Wayman and invited them to speak to the commission.

Olson and Wayman outlined the project, with Olson providing historical background on the existing sewer pipe and discussing the proposed replacement pipe, a CIPP or “cast in place pipe” that would add structural stability and smoother flow. Wayman referenced five design drawings while providing additional project details. They said the project was tentatively set to begin in fall 2011 and would take 2-4 weeks to complete. Olson said the proposed project area was at the far northeast end and away from the creek. He requested on-site assistance from Parks staff to identify areas requiring protection.

Landt disclosed that some of the details under discussion served property that he owned. He asked City staff to call the City-owned park “Ashland Creek Park” rather than “Vogel Park.” Eggers said the park had not been named but the commission did not want it called “Vogel Park.” Commissioners asked about compaction of the soil and were told the soil would be harrowed and seeded over the pipe. They thanked Olson and Wayman for their work.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to grant permission to Public Works to replace the sewer line across Ashland Creek Park contingent upon addressing soil compaction issues to Parks staff specifications. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Two-Year RVTV Contract
Robertson said the RVTV contract came up for renewal every two years. He summarized the contract, which he said had not changed over the previous two-year period, and said discounts were not provided for meetings that were not taped and televised at council chambers. Rosenthal asked why the commission was being charged for 12 meetings when there were never 12 taped / televised meetings in a year. Robertson said the commission could approve the contract contingent upon receiving a revised prorated contract for the number of actual taped and televised meetings.

MOTION Landt moved to approve the two-year RVTV contract on the condition that the contract be prorated and the commission charged only for taped and televised meetings. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Robertson said The Grove could be lost for public use in the next few years and City staff received negative feedback from renters who expressed concern about the loss of the facility. He said City and Parks staff would host a meeting in September to gather public input and the commission was welcome to attend.

Hammers reported receiving a $24,240 grant from Oregon State Parks for removal and replacement of the Lithia Park playground structure. She said the work could begin in fall 2011.

Eggers reported hearing, at a first Friday brown bag lunch hosted by the mayor for City commission chairs, that the Public Arts Commission (PAC) had made some artistic decisions about the Parks-managed Calle staircase that had not been presented to the Parks Commission. Robertson said the PAC chair was asked to attend the August regular meeting to discuss the matter with the commission.


  • Study session set for August 15 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

  • Regular meeting set for August 22 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 9:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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