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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

December Minutes

Thursday, December 06, 2012

December 6, 2012

CALL TO ORDER –Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m. on December 6, 2012, in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, Oregon.

Commissioners Present Council Liaison
Ken Schmidt Greg Lemhouse - ABSENT
Tracy Peddicord  
Tom Myers - ABSENT Staff Present
Casey Roland Michael Pina, Assistant Planner
Russ Neff Anne Thayer, Parks Horticulturist

Schmidt motioned, Roland seconded the approval of the September 6th, 2012 Regular meeting minutes.

No guests.
PLANNING ACTION:        2012-01612                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     270 Meadow Drive
APPLICANT:                       Meadowbrook Park Estates  
DESCRIPTION:                   A Tree Removal Permit to remove three Cottonwood trees in the open space adjacent to 270 Meadow Drive. Two trees are 12-inches in diameter at breast height and one is 9.5-inches in diameter at breast height. The trees have been reviewed by a certified Arborist and the arborist has determined that the trees are hazardous to the adjacent structure.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Suburban Residential; ZONING: R-1-3.5;
ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 11CB; TAX LOT #: 4208
All commissioners visited the site. Piña presented the staff report and noted that the application was submitted by the Home Owners Association on behalf of the former home owner of the adjacent property (280 Meadow Dr.) Since that time, the new home owners wish to retain the trees and wondered if they could be preserved. Commissioner Roland stated that the three trees in question appear to be hazardous and recommends removal. Other Commissioners agreed that the trees should be removed, and suggested the HOA look into planting other species that thrive in wet soils (i.e. River Birch, Italian Alder, some Ashes, etc) to mitigate the removal of Cottonwoods. Piña noted that because the trees in the open are specifically listed on the subdivision’s landscape plan, that any future removals would need to come before the Tree Commission each time a tree(s) are to be removed, and that would present a good opportunity for the Commission to review each tree removed and make suggestions to which trees to mitigate with. Therefore, the Commission recommends approval as submitted.

PLANNING ACTION:        2012-01482                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     51 South Pioneer / 45 Winburn Way
APPLICANT:                       City of Ashland Parks            
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Physical and Environmental Constraints (P&E) Permit for a five-year Maintenance Plan to remove hazardous trees along the Ashland Creek Riparian Corridor within Lithia Park and the Calle Guanajuato.
ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09; TAX LOTS #: 100 and 7500
Piña presented the staff report. Ann Thayer, Parks Horticulturist and Arborist reminded the Commission that we discussed this planning action briefly last meeting, but reiterated that because the Parks Dept. is a large property owner along Ashland Creek, that they are held to the same riparian restrictions as private property owners in accordance with both 18.62 and 18.63. Piña noted that under a “standard” Tree Removal process, the Parks Department would need to apply for each tree removal permit individually, and work within certain time constraints to protect both the riparian edge and wildlife. AMC 18.62.030.Z defines Tree Removal as The removal of three or more living trees of over six inches diameter at breast height (d.b.h.), or the removal of five percent of the total number of living (or dead trees) over six inches d.b.h., whichever is greater, on any lot within five year period, or any form of commercial logging”; and therefore considered “Development” according to this Chapter. Therefore, based on this definition, staff felt that if the Parks Dept. can identify the number of hazard trees that is anticipated to be removed within a five-year period, that they would comply with the Physical and Environmental Constraints chapter in reducing the potential hazard of falling trees that could block the culverts or harming persons within the park. The Commission briefly discussed the proposal and recommended approving the action as submitted.      

Ann Thayer discussed with the Tree Commission for a second time the Arborist Report which recommends removing the two Liquidambars (Sweet Gums) trees within the Plaza. The Tree Commission noted that they had already seen and commented on the report when it was initially brought to them in August, and did not feel the need to re-discuss the removals again at this time.  

Piña noted that he has been in talks with fellow Planner Derek Severson regarding the dead Cedar tree at 426 A Street that was conditioned to be retained throughout the development process. Now that the tree is dead, it would need to be replaced with a similar stature tree once mature. However the complication is that Cedars, and Conifers in general, are not approved as Street Trees and the specific location in underneath power lines, therefore a tree that reaches “similar stature once mature” would not be an appropriate tree in this location. Therefore staff would have to work with the applicant in choosing an appropriate tree that would work well in that location and comply with the intent of the Planning approval.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:06pm.

Respectfully submitted by Michael Piña, Assistant Planner

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