MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
August 16, 2011
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Housing, Historic, Forest Lands, Planning, Conservation, and Tree Commissions, and the Audit Committee.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Joint Meeting with Ashland Community Hospital of August 2, 2011 and Regular Meeting of August 2, 2011 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Mayor’s proclamation regarding Mayors United, Helping Feed Our Community was read aloud.
1. Will Council approve the minutes of City Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Alan Deboer to the Airport Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2014?
3. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Eric Heesacker with a term to expire April 30, 2013 and Mick Church with a term to expire April 30, 2012 to the Planning Commission?
4. Does Council wish to approve a liquor license application from Richard Krebs dba RedZone Sports Bar N Grill at 303 East Main Street?
5. Does Council wish to approve annual renewals on liquor licenses as requested by the Oregon State Liquor Commission?
6. Does Council wish to approve the tentative agreement for a labor contract re-opener that staff has reached with the Ashland Police Officers Association?
7. Does Council wish to ratify the new labor agreement between the City of Ashland and the Laborers’ Union Local No. 121?
8. Will Council approve a $51,859.81 (39.6 percent increase) amendment to the existing contract with DeVore Electric and Construction Co. for construction of the Laurel Street Sidewalk Improvement project?
9. Should Council approve a resolution authorizing the City Administrator, Finance Director or designee to sell General Obligation bonds described in Ballot Measure 15-109 to replace Fire Station No. 2 and permit bond proceeds to reimburse qualifying City expenditures?
10. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve the award of a public contract to Springbrook for the Utility Billing Management Solution?
11. Will Council direct staff to continue to work with the Transportation & Growth Management Program to develop a project of work, select a consultant team, and draft an Intergovernmental Agreement to undertake master planning the North Normal Avenue Neighborhood?
12. Should Council approve a contract with URS Engineering & Construction, Inc. in an amount of $117,359.00 for the Hosler Dam Stability Analysis?
13. Will Council approve an amendment of the RVTD/City of Ashland Reduced Fare Program Agreement discontinuing Route 15 effective September 5, 2011?
14. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a contract amendment for $10,000 to increase the contract for powder coating steel light poles?
15. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award a contract to James McNamara (McNamara Engineering) to act as the project manager for the construction of Fire Station 2?
16. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award a contract to Batzer Construction to remove and repair the adjacent 142’ of the multi-use path along the frontage of West Bellevue Phase II Subdivision in the amount of $6,872?
17. Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve an exemption from the competitive bid process to directly award a contract to Pacific Power Products to provide high priority engine repairs to a Fire Engine?
Councilor Silbiger requested the July 12, 2011 Planning Commission minutes under Consent Agenda item #1 and items #5, #8, and #11 be pulled for discussion. Consent Agenda item #7 was pulled for public input.
Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda items with the exceptions of the July 12, 2011 Planning Commission minutes from item #1 and items #5, 7, 8 and #11. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Keith Haxton/1106 Paradise Lane/Spoke regarding the labor contract between the City of Ashland and the Laborers’ Union Local No. 121 and expressed concern the agreement left out certain workers.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained there were five different labor groups representing City employees that included clerical and technical workers, and part-time and temporary workers.
Councilor Silbiger stated the Planning Commission meeting of July 12, 2011 lacked a full quorum and would not approve the minutes.
He went on to note the list for the annual renewal of liquor licenses contained closed businesses and venues outside city limits and questioned whether due diligence was done. City Recorder Barbara Christensen confirmed due diligence was done, that staff was working with businesses not in compliance and the State was aware of them as well. Councilor Silbiger would not approve the item.
He thought the additional 40% for the Laurel Street Sidewalk Improvement project was unacceptable, and would not vote in favor of the item. It would be easier to add 50% to bid amounts instead of having Council approve contract amendments. Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson responded the project was initially under budget and staff decided to make improvements to drainage and heavily degraded areas resulting in contract amendments.
Councilor Silbiger would not support the North Normal Avenue Neighborhood project based on precedence given to projects that were not Council Goal projects.
Councilor Chapman/Morris m/s to approve the Planning Commission minutes from July 12, 2011. Voice Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #5. Voice Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #7. Voice Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #8. Voice Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger and Slattery, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #11. Voice Vote: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse and Voisin, YES; Councilor Slattery, Silbiger and Chapman, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
1. Does Council find that it would further the public interest to enter an agreement with the Mount Ashland Association (MAA) that would dissolve the existing lease agreement, replace the lease with new terms, convey the property currently owned by the City to MAA, and require the City to relinquish the Special Use Permit for the Ski Area so that MAA can directly obtain the SUP?
City Administrator Martha Bennett introduced legal counsel Bob Steringer from Harrang, Long, Gary, Rudnick P.C., who represented the City at the request of City Attorney Dave Lohman who had worked previously with the attorney representing Mt. Ashland Association (MAA).
She went on to provide history on the MAA request to relinquish the SUP and any assets held since 1992 to MAA and the terms of transfer. Staff and MAA came up with the following nine areas of agreement:
1. The City would relinquish the SUP to the USDA Forest Service and MAA would apply for it. If the Forest Service grants the SUP to MAA, then the City would convey the assets that it currently owns to MAA.
2. MAA would add a nonvoting seat on their board for a member of the City. The City would not participate in any executive sessions, and MAA would reserve the right to ask the City to appoint a different Councilor.
3. The City would have the right to review and comment on all construction plans prior to construction for the purpose of ensuring that any issues that might affect City drinking water are addressed.
4. MAA would agree to comply with the same standard of sedimentation that applies to the City for Reeder Reservoir (no sedimentation over normal background levels)
5. MAA agrees to keep the amount that will be required for restoration under the new SUP unencumbered, and that the amount they keep unencumbered will increase each year by CPI. We discussed having these funds in cash.
6. MAA agrees to keep current provisions in their articles of incorporation that spell out that if the nonprofit is ever dissolved, the association’s assets revert to the City.
7. MAA agrees not to sell, sublet or transfer the ski area without the City’s written approval.
8. MAA will pay the first $7,500 of the City’s legal fees for the cost of constructing this contract.
9. If the USDA Forest Service does not grant MAA a new SUP before December 31, 2012, then the City and MAA will have to negotiate a new lease agreement, assuming that the City would then apply for a new permit to operate the Ski Area. This is unlikely, but should be understood by both parties.
The tenth term negotiated was financial consideration. In 1991 and 1992, MAA privately raised $1.1 million of the funds to acquire the ski area and the State of Oregon granted the remaining $500,000. The City did not make a financial contribution but processed the paperwork related to the SUP. MAA was unwilling to give the City financial consideration for an asset the City did not purchase. Additionally the State of Oregon would need to sign off on the transfer since they provided funds for the purchase.
If there were issues regarding the construction plans that MAA and the City could not resolve, Council would use the 1929 Memo of Understanding (MOU) the City established with the US Forest Service who had ultimate authority regarding decisions on any activities undertaken by MAA.
Ms. Bennett explained the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would act as the regulatory agent to ensure MAA used the appropriate sedimentation standards.
MAA General Manager Kim Clark added MAA would provide construction plans to City staff at least 30-days prior to construction to ensure the quality of drinking water was preserved. The US Forest Service would resolve any issues.
Donna Mickley the US Forest Service District Ranger for Siskiyou Mountains and US Forest Service Permit Administrator Steve Johnson explained the process for transferring the SUP.
Ms. Mickley added the US Forest service was interested in exchanging information based on expansion data and findings provided by Geologist B.J. Hicks and would inform Council of their progress.
Public Hearing Open: 7:41 p.m.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to extend the Public Hearing to 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Judy Cangiamilla/277 North Laurel Street/Explained she was a skier and in favor of preserving the watershed. The agreement lacked substantial data and a strong mitigation process. She encouraged Council to postpone a decision until they had reviewed B.J. Hick’s data. She requested Council not to transfer the SUP.
Keith Haxton/1106 Paradise Lane/If the US Forest Service provided the checks and balances regarding the permit and watershed issues the agreement should include the relationship with the Forest Service. The main issue was damage to the watershed. He did not support transferring the SUP and assets to MAA at no cost.
Pat Acklin/270 Scenic Drive/Served for 14 years on City Council and shared her experience on other Boards that included MAA. She supported the transfer and cautioned people to keep the expansion separate from the SUP.
Emery Way/753 Siskiyou Boulevard/Thought the agreement lacked oversight and could lead to disastrous and permanent consequences for the watershed. It was vital to have proper oversight and strong leverage in negotiations regarding natural resources and this agreement lacked both.
John Fisher-Smith/945 Oak Street/Stated the issue spoke to 20th Century values of unbridled progress versus the 21st century awareness of limited resources. He agreed with Mr. Way’s testimony. He referenced editorial comments he submitted in response to a 2006 newspaper article on how the expansion would protect the environment and enhance the watershed and provided details why that was impossible.
Larry Cooper/223 5th Street/Referred to a video he placed on YouTube depicting the property of the proposed expansion. He noted the damaging affect of clear cutting and how the City needed to own the responsibility the expansion would have on the city water supply. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that resulted in the approval of development in the middle of Ashland Creek branch was due to the US Forest Service placing more importance on recreational use than preserving the ancient forest and creek. It clearly stated there would be additional sedimentation from the approved development, expose erosive soils and reduce creek flow. He also agreed with Mr. Way’s testimony.
Val Bubb/7501 Wagner Creek, Talent/Currently served on the MAA Board and explained the original intent of the acquisition included the City as permit owner only to expedite raising money for charitable contributions. There was no intention for the SUP to stay with the City as the community at large acquired the organization. He acknowledged there were issues regarding water and clear cutting but there were also alpine skiers that needed a place to go locally that should not have to travel elsewhere. He noted possible liabilities the City could incur by retaining the SUP in the event of a serious incident.
Tom Mayer/29 Richard, Medford/Introduced himself as the President of the MAA Board and stated the guidelines were always regulated by the US Forest Service. The MAA intention was to do the right thing and he thought they had.
Chris Uhtoff/78 4th Street/Skied Mt Ashland seasonally and hoped that MAA succeeded. However, it was painful to watch the MAA Board of Directors promote a plan that did not respect the sensitive nature of its placement in the watershed or the roadless biological region. That the US Forest Service supported the expansion showed their neglected responsibility to protect water quality by following the recommendations of ski area planners. Having the City retain the SUP was the only way community retained a voice in expansion development. He listed pollutants the area would encounter with the expansion.
Barbara Comnes/444 Park Ridge Place/The expansion currently proposed put the water supply at unnecessary risk. What if the mitigation was more expensive, failed, or MAA was financially unable to bear the cost of maintaining the area? Would relinquishing the SUP expose the City to lawsuits for not protecting the watershed? She asked Council to vote against the SUP transfer and encourage alternative ways to expand that did not threaten the watershed.
Albert Pepe/321 Clay Street/Thought it was essential the City maintain the SUP. His main concern was the quality of the water and noted the City represented all Ashland citizens and MAA represented skiers. He encouraged Council to maintain the SUP so community had a voice.
Ephraim Andrew/103 Manzanita Street/Expressed concern for potential damage to the watershed and shared personal experience of water poisoning through a contaminated water supply. He asked Council to consider a poisoned water supply when making their decision.
Cate Hartzell/892 Garden Way/Opposed transferring the SUP and noted the existing lease stated the City owned the property. She thought the City should charge for the transfer and added MAA did not have the cash and that was why they were unwilling to pay. She went through the contract and stated her concerns.
Lynn Ransford/1183 Village Square Drive/Hiked extensively around the Mt. Ashland area and recently went through the proposed expansion area and confirmed it was extremely different from other areas. In the EIS the US Forest Service and the Sierra Club approved three other areas outside the watershed for the expansion. She urged Council to retain the SUP, uphold the Comprehensive Plan, and stop the 10-year debate. She provided details on how sedimentation levels increased dramatically in 1962 after road building and the development of Mt. Ashland occurred.
Allan Peterson/807 Beach Street/Thought giving up the SUP would relinquish the City’s authority. The lease had the City indemnified against “judgments, fines, damages, penalties, liabilities, losses, etc” and the lessee paying for repairs and replacements as needed. According to users, MAA had not made needed repairs. The City should not give up the SUP. He reminded Council 100% of community drank water and only 7% skied.
Frances Dunham/807 Beach Street/Opposed the expansion and stressed how important it was for the City to maintain the permit. Transferring was relinquishing control over possible restoration. Whether the expansion went forward or did not, there was no advantage for the citizens to have the City give up that control.
Tom Peil/335 Garfield Street/Stated that the City needed to keep the SUP in order to protect the watershed. Giving up the SUP promoted the expansion. His concern was MAA did not maintain its current footprint in the watershed nor was able to update their lifts or lodge. He questioned why the City would promote the expansion when MAA could not maintain their current infrastructure.
Bryan Holley/324 Liberty Street/Stressed the risk of harming the water supply trumped any argument for recreational benefit because the expansions location would permanently destroy the unique hydrologic features of the watershed. Past and present councilors had put recreational uses for the elite few ahead of the protection of the many. The expansion would eliminate ancient spruce trees and ruin a unique hydrology system.
Laura Campbell/165 ½ Van Ness Street/Talked about the importance of facilitation and personally witnessed what happened to land and community when development was given precedence over people. She asked Council to remain in their role of power and listen to the citizenry.
Wil Thomson/360 Maple Street/Asked the City not give up the SUP. If they did, there would be more accidents and increased sedimentation in Reeder Reservoir the community could not afford.
Jeffree Matthews/1330 B Street/Explained the US Forest Service had a policy of industrial timber sales in unprotected, roadless areas to declassify federal protection status of forests. Council was acting in complicity with an illegal timber operation that would fragment the McDonald Peak roadless area forever and declassify it for federal protection. He found that unethical and immoral.
Ross Stuart/1551 Webster Street/Noted people were living in a time where the perception of government was not protecting public interest and hoped Council would prove that wrong.
Mori Samel-Garloff/248 North 2nd Street/The proposal made her sick and it was hard to remain objective. She expected Council to maintain their leverage on decision making regarding Mt. Ashland. She indicated the variety of people present for public testimony and emphasized they were all there because they were concerned about the water supply. She implored Council to think of future generations.
Daniel Lehmer/2135 Siskiyou Boulevard/Noted it was 2011, time to ascend and shared a poem he had written titled “The End of War.”
Liza Maltsbeiger/276 B Street/Transferring ownership of the SUP would cast a positive vote for the expansion and allow MAA to fundraise with Council directly supporting it. MAA donors refuse to donate while the City holds the SUP. She noted past failures related to the ski area, added it was important to invest in businesses that would succeed and it was bad business to let MAA expand.
Abraham Bettinger/779 Oak Street/Opposed the SUP transfer. He attended an MAA public meeting and thought the board was one-sided in terms of being coherent to public concerns regarding the water supply and quality. There were ways for the MAA to be fiscally responsible if they were open to environmental options that could generate revenue instead of acting as if the expansion was essential to their survival. He wanted the non-profit MAA Board of Directors to function as a good management organization for Mt. Ashland.
Kathryn Hoover/826 Voris Avenue/The expansion was about the sacredness of the land and ecosystems. The current industrial capitalistic system was based on the extraction and pillaging of the earth for extreme selfish benefits to maximize profit and disregard the future. She asked Council to consider the ancestors, future generations and how these extractions impact life.
Jessica Harris/99 Emerick Street/Opposed transferring the SUP to MAA. She hiked the area for the proposed expansion and noted markers for future ski lift pilings were in actual springs. She questioned why there was not another place to expand on the mountain. There was a lot of special interest happening. The citizen’s give Council power, she asked Council not to give that power away.
Suzie Aufderheide/321 North Mountain Avenue/Read from the Valdez Principals and noted citizens would have to pay for any damage due to the expansion. She asked Council to question the scientific research that states there will be no damage to the area. It was ironic the SUP was initially used by the MAA to raise funds and now MAA was claiming the City holding the SUP hindered their fund raising efforts.
Kevin Satterfield/165 ½ Van Ness Avenue/Asked the Council to do their best to protect the watershed. He explained how vital Ashland Creek was to the area. If this was about progress and profit, he urged Council to put more money and effort in developing Ashland as a regional leader of eco-sustainability.
Noah Philpot/78 North Mountain Avenue/Wanted his children to grow up in the pristine beauty that Ashland currently was and not in what it could be if disaster occurred in the ski area.
Marla Welp/78 North Mountain Avenue/Spoke on behalf of future generations. People came to the area to raise children, clean water and air was essential. She urged Council to retain the SUP.
Ian Riversong/321 N Mountain Avenue/Described issues with MAA that ranged from not needing additional beginner runs to the unfair treatment of Mt. Ashland Ski Resort employees. He stated MAA was full of greedy people, commented on their inability to manage their business, and urged Council not to give them the right to tamper with community water.
Tenasi Rama/513 Carter Lane/Spoke on living water versus dead water. He noted his educational background and research conducted on the ecological risk assessment of recreational expansions. In every case, expansions contaminated and deadened the water. Protecting water should be the highest ambition and this was an opportunity to do that. He hoped Council would make the right decision.
Caleb Olson/6505 SW, Aloha, OR /Taking away the water removed the soul from the area. Putting a ski resort on the mountain would make it another Aspen CO. Too many people would come and ruin everything.
Xyara Asplen/1342 Seena Lane/Shared her experience of backpacking through the expansion area and encountering old growth forest never logged or fragmented by roads and suggested Council spend time there. It was easy to get lost in studies and economics but ultimately this was the peoples land, water, and future. She asked Council to make an informed decision.
Helga Motley/693 Clay Street/Expressed concern regarding the tension and urged Council to retain the SUP and not give more power to MAA. She thought Council should take B.J. Hick’s data very seriously and noted his extensive geological background.
Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 South/Shared his personal experience with MAA. He realized the SUP and expansion were not different subjects but actually intertwined. After studying the issue for decades he was in favor of the SUP transfer but wondered where the supporters were. The only ones present to show their support were former MAA members.
Carrie Zoll/78 North Mountain Avenue/Requested the City retain the SUP, it did not make sense to transfer, and it was illegal to hand over City owned assets of $600,000. If the sediment load were too much after the expansion it would be too late. Trees hold up the ecosystem and maintain the watershed. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service science had been wrong before. She was assembling a team of scientists to monitor the watershed and the City would be accountable. Other governments recently declared the earth has rights. It was time to devise systems and programs that fed the ecosystem rather than destroyed them.
Tonya Graham/2007 Mac Street/Introduced herself as the Executive Director of the Geos Institute and explained how the Climate Wise program worked. In every case the key point was available and clean water. There was a need to be conservative and protective of the watershed and always on the side of caution as it related those resources. The City holding the SUP was an important way of erring on the side of caution. She encouraged Council to pay attention to the long-term interests of the community. This was not a decision a future Council could change or reverse. It was an opportunity to protect a lasting resource and legacy for future generations and she encouraged Council to do so.
Marilyn Briggs/590 Glenview Drive/Shared her personal experience of skiing in the area and urged Council not to give up the SUP. Retaining the SUP allowed the City, MAA, and the US Forest Service to act as
3-legged stool. It would take everyone working together to ensure it was a viable ski area and retained a viable water source.
Darwin Thusius/897 Beach Street/Stated the SUP was not separate from the expansion controversy. The MAA was a self-elected body that was not beholden to ski association members, Ashland voters, nor Southern Oregon residents. MAA was determined to go forward with their plans despite an outburst of community concern. He shared his experience attending a MAA Board meeting and a subsequent conversation with the MAA Board President he found disturbing. By keeping the SUP, the Ashland elective body retained the means although modest of influencing an organization that seemed more concerned with preserving a legacy of beating environmentalists rather than reaching a community based compromise.
Liam Hunter/1257 Siskiyou Boulevard/Spoke on behalf of snowboarders and skiers, shared his experience touring multiple ski areas and noted that Ashland has a great-untouched area that makes it more valuable than other ski resorts. The expansion would devalue the area and detract people from going there.
Michael Daole/247 North Laurel Street/Was an avid skier that grew up in an area with three ski areas that shut down due to climate changes. He supported the expansion but did not agree it should go in watershed. Development in the watershed was irreversible. Additionally the snow could stop. It was too much of a risk to take. The snow in the area of the proposed expansion was soft and in future could have only rain. Having a ski resort was essential to the economy and moving the expansion to an area outside the watershed would solve a lot of problems.
Colin Riversong/321 North Mountain Avenue/Was against the expansion. While waiting his turn to speak he observed many people stated similar things but what they said was important. He shared a poem he wrote and asked Council to think seriously on the issue before making a decision.
Sara Mues/357 Vista Avenue/Reminded everyone that the earth was true wealth and money and the concepts of rich and poor were manmade. Giving up the wealth of natural resources for money gambled irresponsibly with the wellbeing of future generations. Without the resources provided by the environment future generations would experience true poverty.
Michael Dawkins/646 E Main Street/Explained his father was originally responsible for the Mt. Ashland ski area. He acknowledged the controversy and commented on the lack of partnership between the City and MAA. He provided alternative ways Mt. Ashland could expand and have a better product. It came down to financial impact. He thought Council should hold onto the SUP and work with MAA to make Mt. Ashland a viable ski area.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to have a special meeting on August 30, 2011 to continue the Public Hearing and consider this issue only. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Lemhouse, Morris, Silbiger and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Mike Mullins/10308 SE 96th Avenue, Happy Valley/Represented Stoney Girl Gardens Foundation, a research, and development association on the industry of medical marijuana. They sponsored a club they wanted to open in Ashland and provided details on how the organization worked.
Jennifer Valley/10308 SE 96th Avenue, Happy Valley/Explained she was diagnosed in 1993 with advanced Thyroid cancer and given a 50% chance of survival. She provided details on her treatment, extensive trips to the Emergency room yearly, and the amount of medication taken daily. In 1999, she joined the Medical Marijuana program that eliminated Emergency room visits, allowed her to take two pills daily, and reduced her healthcare costs 85%.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Does Council wish to adopt a resolution titled, “A Resolution on behalf of the City of Ashland recommending resolution of issues related to the City of Ashland as part of the adoption of the Greater Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving Plan”?
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Jackson County Planning Commission concluded deliberations and this was an opportunity for cities to provide input until September 14, 2011. Included in that deliberation was the City’s Resolution 2010-21 identifying six issues. The City’s suggestion to reduce the 1,200 acres of higher value farmland had not changed Jackson County’s recommendation. However, Council could support a provision by the Rogue Advocates that established farmland conservation programs. Additionally, staff added similar language to the draft resolution.
Mr. Molnar thought Jackson County Planning Commission used unincorporated areas to create the population reallocation to avoid contention from other communities and would review population when it came up again as part of Jackson County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Explained he was glad the Jackson County Planning Commission restored Ashland’s population allocation but thought it was disingenuous of the other major municipalities for not giving back land. RPS was turning out to be a land grab. Ashland’s decision not to enlarge its urban growth boundary set a good example of decent planning for the rest of the Rogue Valley. Additionally he noted that while Ashland promoted transit oriented and pedestrian friendly development there were many multi-family zoned properties that consisted of large family homes on large lots with no incentive for residential to develop higher densities in the city core. The requirements for residential development prevented people from building small residential units.
Mr. Molnar clarified the City used an overall policy of compact urban form for density in the Comprehensive Plan and Associate Planner Derek Severson added new residential land use approvals over the last 5 years was 7.46%. The Urban Growth Boundary (UBG) allowed 6.5 – 6.9 dwellings units per acre based on a State safe harbor when doing a UGB amendment. The cities of Phoenix, Talent, and Ashland used 6.6. The Cities of Medford and Central Point were based on 25% increase in their current density per population and State law.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2011-28 including amendments #3 and #13. DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger noted the plan was not perfect but put restraints on growth unfortunately not all on high valued farmland.
Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to amend the Resolution #5 High Value Farm Land and add “Ashland’s first preference would be to see the majority of RL RC identified high value farmland removed from the plan,” then begin the italicized “Absent meaningful reductions…” DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin explained Council and staff stated repeatedly to Jackson County Commission the need to protect farmland. Councilor Lemhouse agreed it was not a perfect plan but better than the alternative of not participating. Councilor Morris commented regional problem solving seemed to have created more problems than it solved and was not sure Ashland’s requests provided change. Mr. Molnar described the changes Resolution 2010-21 had generated in the RPS plan. Mayor Stromberg thought the amendment was not a deal breaker and just stated a preference. Councilor Slattery supported the amendment. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
CONTINUED DISCUSSION ON MAIN MOTION: Councilor Chapman would not support the motion and thought the City was better off with State law that restricted farmland use more than the RPS Plan would.
Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to add #2 Efficient Land Use and Transportation Planning “In addition Ashland wants it noted that its density is 7.0%. Because the importance of a regional transit system is so critical to the region.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris would not support the motion. The City was not set up with land use ordinances to support 7.0%. Mr. Severson clarified in the last five years 90.419 acres created 674.75 units resulting in a total percentage of 7.46% growth for that period. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin and Chapman, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery and Silbiger, NO. Motion denied 2-3.
Roll Call Vote on Resolution #2011-28 as amended: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Slattery and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Morris and Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
2. Does Council accept the quarterly report as presented?
Interim Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg explained there were no budget violations but several accruals in revenues and expenses that would change the Ending Fund Balances. However, the total cash amount would remain close to what was currently stated.
Councilor Lemhouse/Chapman m/s to approve Quarterly Report. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS (None)
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Does Council wish to provide staff direction to investigate possible changes to the City’s listserv?
2. Does Council wish to provide staff direction regarding updating the ordinance related to commission and committee quorums and legislative intent?
Meeting adjourned at 10:27 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor