MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 7, 2012
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Slattery, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen announced vacancies on the Public Arts Commission, Tree Commission, and the Audit Committee.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of July 16, 2012, Executive Sessions (2) of July 16, 2012 and Business Meeting of July 17, 2012 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor Stromberg recognized Dr. Jim Shames as Oregon Doctor of the Year for his work in collaborating with medical facilities in Jackson County regarding opiate drug abuse.
1. Approval of Commission, Committee, and Board Minutes
2. Award of construction contract to apparent low bidder for the police station remodel
3. Approval of contract with Columbia Helicopters, Inc. for timber harvesting and log hauling services
4. A resolution requesting that the City of Ashland be included in the Jackson County enterprise zone and designating tax lots to be included in the enterprise zone
5. Renewal of the ambulance operator’s license
6. Approval of a liquor license application for Lisa Dunagan dba Ashland Envy
7. Approval of a liquor license application for James Mills dba Caldera Brewery and Public House
8. Appointment of Marni Koopman to the Conservation Commission
9. Award of contract to apparent low bidder for the Nevada/Oak Street sewer bypass project
10. Intergovernmental agreements with Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon to provide emergency dispatch services to Ashland
11. Approval of a special procurement for graphic design services from Karin Onkka
12. Confirmation of Mayoral appointment of Mark Holden as Director of Information Technology and Electric Utility
13. Intergovernmental agreement between Jackson County and the City of Ashland and funding for sobering unit services
Councilor Silbiger pulled Consent Agenda item #4 and declared a potential conflict of interest due to a financial interest he had with one of the properties listed on the draft property list.
Councilor Slattery/Morris m/s to approve Consent Agenda items with the exception of item #4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Slattery/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #4. Voice Vote: all AYES. Councilor Silbiger abstained from voting.
1. First reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Section 18.32.025 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to provide for the relocation or redevelopment of four financial institutions’ existing non-conforming drive-up uses in Ashland’s historic interest area”
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Planning Commission or Council generally requested code amendments and although it was in the code, it was unusual to have an independent application come forward. This request would amend the ordinance to permit four drive-up uses in the Historic District to redevelop on site or relocate to new sites within the historic area. The banks in question were Umqua Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, and U.S. Bank. The Planning Commission reviewed the application and recommended the following:
Public Hearing Open: 7:20 p.m.
Mark Knox 485 West Nevada Street/Richard Katz Ashland Food Coop/Applicants/Explained the ordinance would reduce a current situation between the customers and management of Umqua Bank and the Ashland Food Coop. In addition, it would provide the opportunity for the Wells Fargo and Chase Bank properties to redevelop and create more streetscape and better pedestrian streetscapes and limit impacts on main arterials. The goal was retaining historic façade and pattern in the downtown area with access off a secondary street or hidden.
Councilor Voisin was unclear how the ordinance would encourage the other properties to redevelop. Mr. Knox responded the development process was very expensive, discretionary, and included criteria that tended to block development efforts and the ordinance would change that. He had one bank contact him regarding redevelopment in the past. The code recognized that redevelopment should occur with existing uses under certain provisions and the Planning Commission had provided those provisions for this application.
Councilor Slattery was curious why the client was Ashland Food Coop and not a bank. Mr. Katz explained over the past six years the Ashland Food Coop had unsuccessfully looked at ways to deal with their growth issues. Umqua Bank had discussed selling their property to the Ashland Food Coop but had concerns regarding conditional use permits and other requirements that would prevent the sale. The ordinance amendment would create potential and incentive and put the banks in a position to change their properties. Mr. Knox clarified there was no agreement with Umqua Bank and the Ashland Food Coop.
Catherine Shaw/886 Oak Street/Explained this was not a planning action but more likely a pre-emptive strike to level the Chase Bank building and rebuild it with something more commensurate with the downtown. She did not agree the ordinance would encourage banks to redevelop when they could have during better economic times. Additionally, they could implement the standards the Planning Commission provided immediately without altering the ordinance. The banks were not asking for this change. This was about the Ashland Food Coop wanting more parking and this was why it came through the “back door.” The Ashland Food Coop wanted the property across from the Post Office. She stressed why land use code and process was important and encouraged Council to retain them.
Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Agreed with Ms. Shaw’s testimony and saw no evidence that banks were requesting this redevelopment. In addition, planning costs were less expensive than the applicant reported. Alleyways were streets and the Street Standards did not designate alleyways for drive-up uses. The Planning Commissioners that approved amending the ordinance were new and lacked a depth of knowledge with land use laws. He did not think banks wanted to retain their drive-up uses when online banking was more efficient. He stated the ordinance was a “bait and switch” to allow a planning application for additional parking and encouraged Council to deny the request.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:53 p.m.
Mr. Molnar explained the Comprehensive Plan set forth goals and specific policies and the Land Use code created implementing actions through code language. The initial Comprehensive Plan and transportation element had stronger language regarding drive-up uses. The Comprehensive Plan did not prohibit drive-up use but emphasized the focus should be in terms of scale of development, pedestrian environment, and increasing multi modal.
Councilor Morris motioned to approve First Reading of by title only of the ordinance titled, “An Ordinance amending Section 18.32.025 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to provide for the relocation or redevelopment of four financial institutions’ existing, non-conforming drive-up uses in Ashland’s Historic Interest Area” and move it to Second Reading. Motion died for lack of a second.
Allan Sandler/750 A Street/Explained a group of homeless people in Ashland were initiating an operating agreement under the State of Oregon for an LLC. The purpose was to design a working model for housing as a place to help community without charging. In turn for this help, they hoped to receive support from the community to help their effort. He hoped the concept would flourish and asked Council for their encouragement and support of what they were doing.
Andrew Kubik/1251 Munson Drive/Spoke regarding the Plaza re-design. The Plaza had successfully served as a gathering place since 1911. He cautioned the re-design would not modify certain behavior occurring in the Plaza area. However, the Plaza would benefit from an annual spring sprucing like painting, planting, improving the landscape, all budgetary items considered annually. If $250,000 was actually available for a Plaza re-design, annualizing that sum and devoting $10,000 per year if needed might be an option.
1. First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC 14.08.030 connection outside city, inside urban growth boundary and adding AMC 14.09.020 Sewer Lateral Ownership”
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the ordinance would codify an existing sewer lateral policy requiring property owners to pay for maintenance and replacement of their sections of sewer lateral that went into the public right of way. Additionally, staff was recommending changing responsibility for determination of sewer failure outside city limits within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) from Jackson County to the appropriate regulatory authority.
Staff looked at the six-year sewer project in the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and determined the total number of sewer laterals was 246 at $2,500 to replace each for a total of $615,000 or $102,500 per year with a sewer rate impact of 2.5%.
Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve First Reading of ordinance and move to Second Reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Lemhouse, Slattery, Morris, and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1 Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance adding a new element ‘Chapter XIV – Regional Plan’ to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to incorporate applicable portions of the Greater Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving Plan and to acknowledge revised population allocations by Jackson County for the City of Ashland”
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #3069. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Slattery, Morris, and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
2. Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the general regulations chapter (18.68) if the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to establish setback requirements for chicken coops and chicken runs”
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3070 amending the General Regulations Chapter 18.68 to establish setback requirements for chicken coops and chicken runs.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Voisin, Lemhouse, Silbiger, Chapman, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3071 establishing provisions with the Health and Sanitation Chapter 9.08 for the keeping of chickens within residential districts.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Voisin, Morris, Slattery, and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
3. Second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance enabling City Council to refer to the voter of Ashland in the November 6, 2012 general election a ballot question on instructing the US Congress to approve a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the State authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to determine the nature and extent of the privileges of entities other than natural persons”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the City did not have an enabling ordinance that allowed Council to refer a ballot measure to the voters on matters outside the jurisdiction of the City. Nor did they have the ability to enable citizens to petition to place an advisory measure on the ballot when the measure was outside the City’s jurisdiction. This ordinance would allow referrals by the Council or initiative petitions.
Norma Anderson/815 Pavilion Place/Expressed her shock at the amount of money being spent on the Presidential campaign. This was now a government of the corporations by the corporations and for the corporations and not democracy. She asked if Ashland could voice an expression for democracy like the historical hope of a government of the people, by the people that will not perish.
Mr. Lohman read the following changes to the ordinance:
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Ordinance #3072 as amended.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse thought it was appropriate for citizens to have the ability to bring forward petitions. Councilor Silbiger confirmed the nature of the emergency was passing the ordinance in time for the November ballot and questioned how it would hold up if challenged in court. Mr. Lohman responded the courts were generous in allowing an elected body to determine what constituted an emergency. Councilor Chapman supported the ordinance but would vote no because of the emergency clause and fourth whereas clause. He did not think it should tie into a resolution Council had not yet voted on. Mr. Lohman explained if Council did not pass this ordinance, the resolution to add the advisory question on the November ballot regarding campaign contributions would not pass either. He went on to confirm the sunset clause was no longer in the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
4. A resolution titled, “A resolution of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon, to submit to Ashland Electors at the November 6, 2012 General Election an advisory question on instructing the U.S. Congress to approve a constitutional amendment granting Congress and the States authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to determine the nature and extent of the privileges and entities other than natural persons”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the resolution would put the advisory question on the ballot in time for the November 6, 2012 election.
Evan Lasley/110 7th Street/Wanted the public to understand this was an opportunity for public discussion and action. Many members of Congress privately agreed with regulating campaign contributions and expenditures but when discussed, passed it over due to the undermining influence of corporate lobbying upon the political and election system. He thanked Council for moving forward and giving the voters a chance to speak.
Mr. Lohman noted a scrivener’s error in the title.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Resolution #2012-27. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman would not support the motion, addressed Exhibit “A,” and noted an error in the language under the explanatory statement. He added the resolution should have come through citizens’ initiative.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to amend the second to the last paragraph in Exhibit “A” to clarify what a “No” vote would mean in regards to the measure. DISCUSSION: Mr. Lohman proposed the following language: “A “NO” vote would not instruct Congress to change the federal Constitution as to the status of legislatively-created entities or the inability to legislatively set campaign finance limitations and disclosure requirements.” Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, Chapman, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on main motion: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Discussion regarding a request from the Conservation Commission that Councilor Voisin recommend on their behalf the architects for the downtown plaza re-design project include SITES’ sustainability standards for environmental sustainability within their plans.
Councilor Voisin explained the Conservation Commission did not want to stop the Plaza re-design project but wanted sustainability added as a component to the project and incorporate SITE’s sustainable standards with the architect’s plans. Conservation Commissioner Mark Weir added the Commission was unaware of the re-design until recently.
Council was concerned the Conservation Commission was not initially involved or informed of the re-design. The majority was not opposed to adding SITE’s but wanted more information on how the SITE’s document related to a clean-up project and if it was standard procedure for the Commission to apply this to all City projects. Mr. Weir explained the re-design could fall under increased sustainability planning and the Commission was asking the City to follow some of guidelines available for projects of this nature. Opposing comments from Council noted that the SITE’s document had little information pertinent to the re-design and the architects were already incorporating sustainability methods through plant choice, watering, and reducing the hardscape.
Councilor Voisin motioned that Council encourage the Plaza design project to include a sustainability component with milestones based on the SITE’s document. Motion died for lack of a second.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to direct staff to provide feedback in regards to what adopting SITE’s points as it pertains to the Plaza re-design. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse needed more information about the SITE’s document before making a final decision. Councilor Slattery agreed and added the Conservation Commission should present specific points when recommending the project include sustainability components. Additionally, Council was unfamiliar with the SITE’s document. Councilor Voisin clarified the Commission was not intending to obstruct or stop the Plaza re-design and only wanted to add the quality of sustainability.
Councilor Chapman left the meeting at 8:52 p.m. prior to the vote.
Councilor Lemhouse clarified Council was not arguing about obstructing the project and reiterated the need for more information regarding the SITE’s document and how it applied to the re-design. Councilor Slattery added the term “sustainability” had huge application, and wanted further clarification on which part the Commission recommended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor