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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Minutes

Thursday, January 05, 2012

January 5, 2012
CALL TO ORDER –Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on January 5, 2012, in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, Oregon.
Commissioners Present Council Liaison
Bobby Townsend – Via phone Russ Sibliger - ABSENT
Tracy Peddicord  
Tom Myers Staff Present
Casey Roland Michael Pina, Assistant Planner
Russ Neff Anne Thayer, Parks Horticulturist
November 3rd, 2011 Commission Minutes: Peddicord motioned/ Roland seconded to approve the November 3, 2011 regular meeting minutes Voice vote: all AYES, Motion passed. The minutes were approved as submitted. *NOTE: No quorum for the December meeting therefore no minutes submitted.
PLANNING ACTION:                        2011-01576                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:          1554 Webster Street (on the Southern Oregon University campus)
APPLICANT:                          American Campus Community Services          
DESCRIPTION:                      A request for Site Review approval to construct a new single-story dining hall near the intersection of  Wightman and Webster Streets, two new four-story residence halls near the intersection of Webster and Stadium Streets, two parking lots and associated site improvements on the Southern Oregon University campus at 1554 Webster Street.  Also included are requests for Conditional Use Permit approval to allow buildings that exceed the maximum length and vary from the locations identified in the SOU Masterplan and to exceed the 40 foot height allowance in the SO zoning district, and a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove 18 trees that are 18-inches in diameter-at-breast-height (d.b.h.) or greater.  The application involves the demolition of five residences and their associated accessory structures near the intersection of Webster and Stadium Streets to accommodate the proposed development. 
Michael presented the staff report. Site visits conducted by all. Greg Covey of Covey-Pardee Landscape presented the Tree Commission with the SOU’s proposed tree removal plan for the site. He stated that the Transportation Commission recommended that fully improved sidewalks be installed on both Ashland and Wightman Street frontages. For this to be accomplished, nearly 50 trees in addition to those already proposed to be removed will need to be removed to accommodate the improved sidewalk width. In response, The Tree Commission recommends that new sidewalks not be installed on either frontage due to the additional removal of many well established trees.
The Tree Commission also reviewed plans for a Sanitary Sewer lateral that has to be replaced in close proximity to established trees. Covey stated that SOU is strongly interested in saving tree #200, a large Redwood; however tree #201, a Pine, is in the way. The Commission recommend that in lieu of tree protection fencing, that a certified arborist be onsite at all times during the trenching and excavation work in the this area. And that the on-site arborist shall make an on-site evaluation while work is being performed whether tree #201 can be saved.
PLANNING ACTION:                        2011-01699                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:          763 & 777 Jefferson Avenue
APPLICANT:                          Brammo Motorsports LLC      
DESCRIPTION:                      A request for Site Review approval to construct two, two-story buildings of 14,857 square feet and 18,805 square feet for the research, design, manufacturing of prototypes, warehousing, storage and administrative offices for the production of Brammo Electric Motorcycles & products. The proposed buildings will be located at 777 Jefferson.  A private, dirt test track to further the research and design is proposed for 763 Jefferson.
ZONING: E-1 & M-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 14AC; TAX LOT: 101 & 102
Michael presented the staff report. Site visits conducted by all. Laurie Sager commented that the applicants went to great lengths to save two large Black Oaks in the rear of the property (Tree #9 and #7). The applicant has proposed to remove two Cottonwoods located at the rear of the parcel. No street trees are proposed due to existing new street trees. Sager also mentioned that the final track layout is yet to be finalized, however will be constructed out of dirt and will not encroach into the wetland. The Commission recommended that the final track configuration be limited to stay away from the tree protection zone as shown on the plans (approx five feet), and that the edges of the track have a barrier (i.e. hay bales) to protect the trees and root zones from damage.  The Commission also recommended that some sort or Riparian restoration of Knoll Creek be performed at this time.
PLANNING ACTION:                        2011-01695                            
SUBJECT PROPERTIES:      Properties between 354 and 520 Helman Street adjacent to Ashland Creek between Hersey & Nevada Streets; Properties between 19-55 W Hersey St., and 27 E Hersey St., adjacent to Ashland Creek at Ashland Creek Park. (See map for specific properties involved.)  
APPLICANT:                          City of Ashland Public Works & Engineering
DESCRIPTION:                      The application is a request for Physical & Environmental Constraints Review and Water Resources Protection Zone Limited Use permits for development within the Ashland Creek floodplain corridor to allow the maintenance and replacement of public utilities and associated accessways. The Ashland Creek Sanitary Sewer Restoration Project proposes to rehabilitate an approximately 1,450 linear foot length of 21-inch diameter, 100-year old sewer line running within public utility and access easements on Helman Street parcels adjacent to Ashland Creek between Hersey and Nevada Streets, and Hersey Street properties adjacent to Ashland Creek near Ashland Creek Park, using a “cured in place” pipe re-lining to restore the structural integrity of the existing line, increase its capacity without increasing pipe size, eliminate joints which are likely to leak, and minimize both the duration and the area of surface disturbance associated with the project. Also proposed are 325 linear feet of new piping, an improved creek crossing, the installation of five new manholes, and access paths and landing pads to provide utility access to these lines.         
ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP:            39 1E 04 CA,   TAX LOTS:      3301, 3302, 3303, 3400, 3401, 3500, 3501, 3600, 3701, 4200, 4400, 4500, 4600, 4900, 5000, 5100 and 5400; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 04 CD, TAX LOTS: 800, 806, 903, 3700 and 3800 (See map.)
Michael presented the staff report. Site visits conducted by all. Kelly Gusterson of Laurie Sager and Associates told the Commission that a huge effort to preserve all the trees in this application has been accomplished. Because of the site constraints (slope, existing vegetation, maneuverability) that flexible orange construction fencing has been proposed instead of the typical chain link tree protection fencing. The Commission noted that this makes sense in this type of application and approve as submitted. 
PLANNING ACTION:                        2011-01656                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:          181 Morse
APPLICANT:                          Reichenshammer Building Design for the Malm’s
DESCRIPTION:                      A request for a Conditional Use Permit to exceed the Maximum Permitted Floor Area (MPFA) within a Historic District by 9 percent or 262 square feet to allow for a 699 square foot addition to the existing 488 square foot cottage. Properties in the Historic Districts are allowed a specific square footage of structures in relationship to the size of the parcel. The removal of a six-inch in diameter at breast height apple tree is also requested to be removed.
Michael presented the staff report. Site visits conducted by all. Ms. Reichenshammer that with the removal of the apple and pear trees to make way for the addition, that she is proposing to replace like-for-like in between the two units. The Commission liked this mitigation and also recommended that tree protection fencing be installed on the east side of the building to protect the existing street trees from construction impacts. 
PLANNING ACTION:             2011-01733    
SUBJECT PROPERTY:          1315 Oregon Street
APPLICANT:                          Scott/Edwards Architecture for owner Peter Koziol
DESCRIPTION:  A request for a Conditional Use Permit to reconstruct an existing non-conforming structure and exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage in the zone by 6 percent or 407 square feet.  The project consists of demolishing the existing 1,446 square foot residence and constructing a new 1,798 square foot dwelling that will conform to setback requirements. The current lot configuration exceeds lot coverage by 17 percent is being reduced to 6 percent as part of the re-construction project. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 15 BB; TAX LOT: 8800
Michael presented the staff report. Site visits conducted by all. The Commission felt that with the demolition and reconstruction of a new home at this site, that the majority of the trees will be compromised during construction. Therefore the Commission recommended that a certified professional review the trees for their tolerance to construction impacts before site work begins, and that an arborist be on-site during work within the tree protection fencing areas.  
Staff liaison Michael Piña followed up on last month’s planning actions to the Tree Commission. Staff also discussed the tree protection fencing and construction impacts at 545 Lit Way. On several occasions staff noticed that during the construction of the parking spaces and the arbor, the tree protection fencing was regularly moved and/or laying on the ground while construction was being performed. Staff had a certified arborist provide a report to staff indicating the potential damage to the trees during construction.
The second issue that staff discussed is the topping of three trees at the Ashlander Apartments. Topping is a harmful and often fatal practice to trees and is not permitted under AMC 18.61; in any case, a tree removal permit would need to be obtained for work performed on trees within the multi-family zone. As a result, staff has cited the owner over $800 in fines and requesting that an arborist provide a report describing the damage and that the trees be replaced. Staff is waiting to see what the outcome will be.
From these two issues the Commission believes that the tree protection requirement has been a joke in the development community and often times many contractors either are not aware of the protection requirement, or intentionally disregard the notice that protection fencing cannot be moved.  Roland suggested that similar to electric meter boxes, some sort of clamp around the fence posts that makes it difficult for contractors to move fencing should be incorporated in the protection fencing. So when an arborist does need to work within the tree protection fencing, that the arborist on site contact the planning division letting us know that they are removing it, which makes them accountable for the work done. Then staff would go out and re-snap the clamp around the fencing.  
The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 pm. The Next Meeting will be Thursday February 9th, 2012
Respectfully submitted by Michael Piña, Assistant Planner

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