MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
November 15, 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 openings on the Planning Commission, Conservation Commission, Tree Commission, and the Audit Committee. In addition, there were two positions open on the Citizens Budget Committee with an application deadline of November 18, 2011.
Mayor Stromberg moved number 3. Will Council approve First Reading of ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the Development Standards for Wireless Communication Facilities in 18.72.180 of the Ashland Municipal Code” and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?, from ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS and CONTRACTS to PUBLIC HEARINGS for additional public input.
He explained the recruitment process for the new City Administrator and invited the public to submit selection criteria to Human Resources Director Tina Gray via email, email@example.com mail to City Hall, attention Tina Gray, 20 East Main, Ashland OR 97520 by December 2, 2011.
Mayor Stromberg commented on the recent passing of Dave Fortmiller and his contributions to Ashland over the years. Councilor Slattery shared history on the Fortmiller family, described Mr. Fortmiller’s outgoing friendliness, and honored him with a moment of silence.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Regular Meeting of November 1, 2011 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Assistant Planner and Tree Commission staff liaison Michael Pina presented the 2011 Tree of the Year award to the Coast Redwood trees located at 65 Granite Street.
1. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Mark Weir to the Conservation Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2012?
2. Does Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of Brett Ainsworth to the Housing Commission with a term to expire April 30, 2014?
3. Will Council approve a letter of support for Sky Research and their grant application for Connect Oregon IV in order to build a hangar at the Ashland Municipal Airport?
4. Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the award of an $184,890 contract to Smith Sheet Metal for the replacement of the Service Center roof?
5. Will Council, acting as the local contracts review board, approve the award of a public contract resulting from a formal solicitation process for Municipal Audit Services?
6. Will Council approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation?
7. Will Council approve a letter of support, signed and sent by Mayor Stromberg for the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP) Connect Oregon IV grant application for rail tunnel enhancement?
Councilor Chapman/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery/Chapman m/s to remove from the table the First Reading in order to open the Public Hearing on the Wireless Facilities Ordinance. Voice Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar addressed independent third party analysis and explained the City would select and contract the consultant and the applicant would pay for the review. If Council approved the ordinance, staff would return with a resolution to modify the fee schedule for applications that chose not to collocate and required a third party analysis. The cost for the third party analysis varied from $3,500 to $5,000 with a refund of fees not used once the process was complete.
Planning Manager Maria Harris explained Section 18.72.180 Development Standards for Wireless communication Facilities B. Applicability 3. Exemptions (a) Do not create an increase in the height of the facility more than ten feet; and… was from the existing ordinance and staff had moved it to the Exemptions section. Mr. Molnar added the language anticipated a freestanding monopole type to extend the antenna structure. This would be difficult to do at a collocation site or attach to an existing structure and conform to the standards that require minimizing height and mass or concealing the antenna if the applicant used an alternative structure or existing building.
Council noted a correction inSection 18.72.180 Development Standards for Wireless communication Facilities D. Design Standards 2. Preferred Designs subsections A-E should read A-D.
Public Hearing Open: 7:24 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:24 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Chapman m/s to approve First Reading of an Ordinance Amending the Development Standards for Wireless Communication Facilities in 18.72.180 of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance, and move to request that the ordinance be brought back for Second Reading on December 20, 2011. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse liked the third party review but was hesitant on who paid the fees. Councilor Chapman had issues with a third party analysis. Councilor Silbiger would not support the motion. The ordinance was out of date and designed specifically to keep freestanding poles and other visual impacts from wireless communications facilities. If a tower no longer had a visual impact, there was no legal reason to collocate. Councilor Voisin supported the ordinance and the third party review. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Silbiger, the ordinance was for visual and aesthetic impacts and collocation did not to fit. Councilor Silbiger added there should not be a standard for putting up a wireless communication facility if there was no visual or aesthetic impact. Councilor Chapman thought the ordinance had done what it was supposed to do, stop the proliferation of lattice towers and would need rewriting in a few years due to technology advancements.
Councilor Chapman motioned to amend the motion and remove the code relating to requiring third party verification. Motion died due to lack of a second.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Slattery, and Morris, NO; Councilor Lemhouse and Voisin, YES. Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Silbiger/Slattery m/s to direct staff to return with an ordinance change removing collocation requirements for wireless communication facilities if there is no visual or aesthetic impact. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin questioned how aesthetic and visual impact would be determined. Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson responded staff would define visual and aesthetic impact and bring it back for Council’s approval. City Attorney Lohman noted the motion was opposite of Council’s previous direction to make collocation a higher priority. He explained the City could control aesthetics through zoning but could not prevent the location of a cell tower for reasons not related to zoning. Mayor Stromberg confirmed the City would need a finding about visual impact to remain consistent with the law. Mr. Lohman explained the language in the ordinance provided an objective analysis of the feasibility study and was as aggressive as the City could get.
Councilor Chapman reiterated the current code worked well and it was premature to rewrite the ordinance without knowing where technology was heading. Councilor Voisin responded Council could adopt the amended ordinance and change it as technology advanced. Councilor Morris thought the ordinance would be obsolete in the near future. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Silbiger, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Chapman and Voisin, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
Evan Lasley/110 Seventh Street/Spoke as a representative of Occupy Ashland and their interest in working with the City to address the common issues the community was facing. He provided background on Occupy Ashland and their desire to change the political and economic systems. He shared information on the widening gap between productivity and real wages and the concentration of wealth to just a few since 1970. Currently, it would take over 47 years for the average family to make as much as the top ten Hedge Fund Managers make in one hour. He attributed the financial crisis to the 1% and those who represented their interests. In Oregon, one in five people used food stamps and many struggled to meet their basic needs. People needed to band together and rebuild the system from the ground up. Occupy Ashland was actively involved with the ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee and interested in volunteering to help the less fortunate and promote well bring in the community. He suggested changing the temperature of the Inclement Weather Emergency Shelter policy from 20 degrees to 40 degrees and added Occupy Ashland could assist in running the shelter.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Will Council accept and act on the recommendation of the Public Safety Bond Committee to improve and expand the existing Police Station by financing Phase I improvements using existing resources?
Interim Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg introduced Public Safety Bond Committee Chair Darrel Boldt. Staff recommended Council accept the Committee’s report and use $300,000 in forfeiture monies, and $1,150,000 in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) fund to pay for the remainder of Phase 1.
Chair Boldt introduced Committee members who were present at the meeting. He explained the initial information they had regarding The Grove as a replacement for the Police Station was not accurate and new information indicated remodeling the Police Station with a new addition was more appropriate. The project would occur in two phases. Phase 1 would get the Police Department functioning. Phase 2 included a separate facility for meeting rooms also used as an Emergency Command and Training Center. The phases were set up so the City could postpone Phase 2 until there were enough funds for construction. Phase 1 included retrofitting the existing building to meet seismic standards.
Police Chief Terry Holderness addressed seismic retrofitting and explained if an expansion exceeded 10% of the existing space, they were required to meet a new standard of earthquake safety in order to receive FEMA funds.
Mr. Tuneberg clarified using CIP money for Phase 1 would not affect Ending Fund Balance carry forward in future years. Any overruns would come from unrestricted funds in the Ending Fund Balance.
Councilor Slattery/Morris m/s to accept the recommendation of the Committee and direct staff to use the accumulated fund balance in the Capitol Improvements Fund to pay for Phase 1 improvements to the existing Police Station and to include the plan in the FY-2013 Budget.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Chair Boldt added the Committee would volunteer their time to promote the remodel to the public. Mayor Stromberg suggested using the Town Hall television show as a platform.
2. Does Council wish to extend the current Fare Reduction Agreement with RVTD and continue the current low-income transit pass program to June 30, 2012 and direct staff to negotiate a new three-year reduced fare agreement with RVTD for Council consideration in May of 2012?
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained a Transportation and Planning Commission Subcommittee worked with Councilor Silbiger, Councilor Chapman, and the Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) and developed three options. One option would expand the current transit pass system to the High School, Senior and fixed-route passes, and the Valley Lift passes but would cost more than the $50,000 allocated. The current program already subsidized low-income riders but did not increase ridership. Currently 1,800 citizens in Ashland qualified for the subsidized bus program. Instead of staff managing the bus pass program, the group thought the Department of Health Services could distribute passes.
The City could subsidize the current low-income program for $76,000 with an additional $4,000 buffer to cover possible increased ridership for a total of $80,000. Two programs would subsidize either 300 citizens or the full 1,800 with fixed route passes. Of those two, the City could only afford to fund a small portion of the 300-participant program. Funding the Valley Lift was an unknown as this time. Allocating a specific amount and allowing people with an Oregon Trails card to ride free at $56 per pass for 1,800 was not financially feasible. However, Route 15 was no longer active and RVTD providing 20-minute service in town would help offset costs. Additionally, RVTD applied for a grant that would allow them to extend service hours and provide Saturday service that would increase ridership. The only time the City experienced an increase in ridership was when the fare was free and the City could not support that cost now.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to extend the current RVTD reduced fare agreement to June 30, 2012; continue the current $10,000 transit bus pass program for qualifying Ashland residents; and direct staff to negotiate a new three year reduced fare agreement with RVTD not to exceed $80,000 per year. DISCUSSION: CouncilorVoisin thought it was important the City subsidize passes for people who could not afford to ride the bus. Councilor Chapman would not support the motion and questioned when the goal to increase ridership changed to subsidizing low-income riders. He supported public transportation but was not in favor of the staff recommendation. RVTD reducing Route 10 to 20 minute runs and applying for a grant that would extend service better matched a system that functioned for a larger number of people. Subsidizing fare reduction had not increased ridership. If the City decided to continue the program, he suggested they get real data. Councilor Lemhouse was not interested in continuing the same program but wanted to subsidize senior and Valley Lift rides. Councilor Slattery thought the City should invest more in public transportation but neither the City nor RVTD were there yet. He agreed there should be a provision for low-income riders. RVTD also needed viable data.
Councilor Silbiger supported continuing the program through June 2012 but not for three years. The programs the City had tried were not successful. Mayor Stromberg noted public transit was an essential part of the community. The City needed to determine what they wanted to accomplish with transit and the overall impact on the community. Councilor Morris was concerned RVTD did not have sufficient data to determine whom they were trying to serve. The program needed a large number of paying customers to make subsidizing work. He agreed with the first part of the motion but not a three-year contract. Councilor Voisin explained a three-year contract would give RVTD time to collect data. Councilor Slattery reiterated the need for a low-income subsidy but the transit system needed to attract ridership that paid RVTD operation costs.
Councilor Lemhouse/Chapman m/s to amend motion and drop “…direction to staff to negotiate a new three year reduced fare agreement with RVTD not to exceed $80,000 per year.” DISCUSSION: CouncilorLemhouse supported a short-term agreement until RVTD came up with a better plan. Councilor Chapman noted the subsidy did not help low-income riders traveling to Medford, it only applied to Ashland. He wanted them to have access to a bus pass that would allow them to travel to the rest of the valley and did not think the current subsidy was helpful. Councilor Lemhouse clarified he wanted staff to focus on an alternative. Councilor Voisin thought they would do both. Councilor Silbiger supported looking for better alternatives. He preferred using the $80,000 for public transportation somehow but in a more effective manner.
Mr. Faught confirmed the subsidy was strictly for riding in town. Resident’s commuting to Medford paid full fare. Annual Valley Lift trips were below 9,800. All the programs discussed with RVTD were costly, lacked data, and were an investment with an unknown outcome. There was also a chance RVTD would not be able to get the data. The intention of the three options was to help those most affected when the fare reduction program ended.
Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to call for the question on the motion to amend. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on motion to amend: Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman, YES; Councilor Slattery and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to call for the question on the amended main motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended main motion: Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, YES; Councilor Voisin, Chapman, and Morris, NO. Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote. Motion passed 4-3.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to Adopt the Buildable Lands Inventory as Supporting Documentation to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan”?
Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to approve ORD #3055. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Morris, Chapman, Lemhouse, Slattery and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
2. Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Zoning Map to Add a Pedestrian Places Overlay”?
Planning Manager Maria Harris explained the boundary change to the Ashland Street and Tolman Creek Road intersection was now on the eastside of Tolman Creek Road per the Planning Commission recommendation.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3051 as amended and adopted.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman explained the intersection at Ashland Street and Tolman Creek Road was not pedestrian friendly but had the long-term potential to be an important area in Ashland. Moving the boundary line would not solve the problem. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Slattery and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman and Morris, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Creating a New Chapter 18.56 Overlay Zones, Including the Residential Overlay and Airport Overlay”?
Ms. Harris explained changes to Chapter 18.56 Overlay Zones Section 18.56.040 PP Pedestrian Place Overlay were made to B. Applicability (2) Planning Actions, a “d’ was added to “associate” and under D. Residential Zoning Districts with Pedestrian Pace Overlay 3. Development Standards (b) the third sentence was changed to read: “Projects including existing buildings or vacant parcels of a half an acre or greater in size shall achieve the required minimum FAR, or provide a shadow plan (see graphic) that demonstrates how development may be intensified over time to meet the required minimum FAR.”
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Ordinance #3052 as amended.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Lemhouse, Voisin, Morris and Slattery, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC 18.72.080 Site Design and Use Standards Implementing the Recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project”?
Under Section 3 Site Design and Use Standards, II-C-2a Orientation and Scale (1), the second sentence language changed to “Projects including existing buildings or vacant parcels of a half an acre or great in size shall achieve the required minimum FAR, or provide a shadow plan (see graphic) that demonstrates how development may be intensified over time to meet the required minimum FAR.”
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3053 as amended. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Chapman liked the shadow plan, removing the upper FAR and parking requirement but overall did not think Pedestrian Places was complete. A two-story development with an FAR of .5 equaled a strip mall and the minimum FAR should be 1.0. Councilor Morris thought unit density and FAR was more complex than increasing it to 1.5, it depended on the use. A building could have a lot of empty space to increase FAR yet have little effect on transit. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Slattery, Lemhouse, Silbiger, and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending AMC 18.08, 18.12.020, 18.68.050, 18.72.030, 18.72,080, 18.72.090, 18.88, 18.88.080, 18.92, 18.108.040, 18.108.060 and 18.108.080 of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance Implementing the Recommendations of the Pedestrian Places Project”?
Under Section 4 Section 18.68.050, Arterial Street Setback Requirements language changed to “The setback from an arterial street shall be no less than twenty (20) feet, or the width required to install sidewalk and parkrow improvements consistent with the City of Ashland Street Standards in Section 18.88.020.K, whichever is less.” Ms. Harris clarified the setback was always measured from the property line and there was not additional right of way behind the existing curbside sidewalk on Ashland Street.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Ordinance 3054 as amended. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Morris, Silbiger, Slattery, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Silbiger/Voisin m/s to approve Findings of Fact to occupy the ordinances for the Pedestrian Places Project. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
3. Will Council approve First Reading of ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the Development Standards for Wireless Communication Facilities in 18.72.180 of the Ashland Municipal Code” and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?
Item moved for action to the Public Hearing section of this agenda.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Report on League of Oregon Cities Conference from Council members who attended.
Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson provided an overview of the 2011 League of Oregon Cities (LOC) conference. Councilor Chapman and Mayor Stromberg shared their experiences during the conference as well.
Meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor