Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

September 5, 2001 - 12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.

Councilors present: Laws, Reid, Hanson, and Hearn. Hartzell arrived at 12:40 p.m. Morrison was absent.
Staff present: City Administrator Greg Scoles, Public Works Director Paula Brown and Community Development Director John McLaughlin.

1. Review of the Stormwater Master Plan and Proposed Methodology for revised Storm Water Systems Development Charges.
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave a brief synopsis and explained that although the plan was not formally adopted in 1999, the plan addressed the councilís desire for better water quality protection and an updated capital improvement program. Brown stated that the plan has been completed and a consultant was hired (Shaun Pigott and Associates) to assist with refining and developing a better methodology for assessing Storm Drain Systems Development Charges (SDCs). The SDC Committee was activated for review of the capital improvementís program and to recommend changes to the Storm Drain SDC.

Pigott made presentation which explained the SDC Act (ORS 223.297-314) providing "a uniform framework for the imposition of system development charges" and establishing that the charges may be used only for capital improvements. Definition of SDCís, reimbursement fees, and improvement fees were explained and it was noted that fee calculation must consider the cost of projected, planned capital improvements needed to increase the capacity of the system to which the fee is related.

Pigott spoke on the issues and concerns discussed by the committee that were raised by both the development community and from tax ratepayers. A Capital Project list and allocation table was included in the council information along with a formula for setting the Improvement Fee. He reported that the SDC Committee is comfortable in recommending a change to the Storm Drain SDC from $0.1398 per square foot of impervious area to $0.169 per square foot of impervious area. This change will ensure that storm drain capital projects and water quality improvements can be undertaken with development paying its fair share of these costs.

Brown explained that staff would bring the plan to the council in late October or early November after the required 45-day notification period for changes to SDCs.

Update on Transportation Projects within the City.
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave a brief synopsis on the several transportation projects going on in Ashland and will continue to bring the council updates over the next several months.

Siskiyou Boulevard - This project is in the final design stage and the Boulevard Citizen Design Committee (BCDC) has been reactivated and is assisting with the review process. Staff and the consultants have met with the business owners in the section from Hwy 66 to Walker Avenue on their concerns regarding this section. Traffic counts are being reviewed, as will bicycle and pedestrian counts for the intersections at Siskiyou, Hwy 66/Siskiyou, Indiana and Gresham. Impact analysis is being completed on extending medians through several of the intersections to evaluate direction of travel. Construction is scheduled to begin June 2002.

Siskiyou, Gresham, 3rd, Lithia, E. Main Intersection - The council discussed the appropriateness of roundabout designs and was informed by staff that this type of design is being reviewed and analyzed to see if it is an appropriate use at this intersection. A thorough traffic engineering analysis will be performed as well as the "civil" design and geometric analysis to see if it "fits" with the current or proposed changes to the road grade and sight distances. Staff has also applied for $500,000 of modernization funds for the roundabout through the 2001 Transportation Act (HB2142) funds.

Ashland School District Parking Lots - Due to Ashland School District funding constraints, this project has been tabled for this year.

Central Ashland Bikepath - Staff reported that there has been success with discussion with the Railroad to purchase an easement for the bikepath extension from Laurel Street to Jackson Road parallel to N. Main Street. In combination with this project, staff intends to design a storm drain for that section of road that would be constructed under the bikepath, solving two concerns.

Bus Shelters - This project will be combined and bid with the Siskiyou Boulevard Project. Suggestion was made that bus shelters that are not being used as frequently could be moved near the High School and Southern Oregon University. This would help to encourage use of this transit. McLaughlin noted that there are problems associated with property owners adjacent to the location of bus shelters.

Water Street Bridge - Request for proposals for design work is being completed. Staff anticipates completed design in the spring with construction beginning next summer.

Helman Street Sidewalks - Staff explained that the city did not receive a grant for this project and is moving forward with a LID for sidewalk construction. Design is complete and staff anticipates getting construction bids by October with work proceeding throughout the winter and into spring 2002.

Strawberry Lane LID - McLaughlin stated that staff is both the Community Development and Public Works Departments are working to establish neighborhood meetings in September and finalizing parameters for design of the street improvements and storm drain work.

Tolman Creek Road - Staff explained that the project in this yearís budget is for intersection improvements fo the intersection of Siskiyou and Tolman. Request for proposals for design work is being prepared and staff expects to have design completed in the fall or early winter. The council discussed the need to move more quickly in this neighborhood due to the rapidly growing neighborhood and safety concerns. General consensus by the council was to see sidewalks in place sooner. Brown explained that by only putting in sidewalks, without the storm drains, etc. would cost a lot of money. She clarified that nothing has changed from what she understood as the councilís direction. The council discussed changing of priorities on other projects and the use of budgeted dollars. Staff agreed to bring back recommendations and ideas to the council for Tolman Creek Road. It was suggested that the Police Department should be alerted to the safety concerns in this area.

North Main Street/Hwy 99 Reconstruction - Staff explained that ODOT is currently completing design of a preservation project to repair and reconstruct portions of North Main Street from Valley View intersection to Fourth Street. Brown clarified that this project does not include bike lanes as it is a "preservation project" rather than a "modernization project." She stated that there may be strong argument for applying for funds from ODOT for bike lanes.

Miscellaneous is LIDís - Staff explained that the miscellaneous LIDís are being formed to pave unpaved streets.

Reid suggested circulating published books on topics that would be helpful to the council members, commission members and committee members. It was noted that the responsibility of the Traffic Safety Commission is to explore concepts and ideas.

Hearn noted the property above the Granite Pit which was deeded to the city and the possible use of the property in building a trail that would connect with the current trail system.

Discussion regarding AMC 2.27 Citizen Involvement for Planning Committee
DeBoer noted that this committee had not been active for some time and questioned whether to put it back together or drop it completely. McLaughlin explained that under state statutes, the city is required to have a Citizen Involvement Committee. He noted the problems associated with forming this committee and keeping individuals interested in serving. He stated that it takes a broad range of individuals, which makes the group less cohesive.

It was explained that the theory has been, that all of our ad-hoc committees are actually our CIP committee. It was suggested that the current ordinance be amended to encompass this theory, as there is always the possibility of being challenged. Staff was directed to amend the ordinance and bring back to the council for their approval. Hartzell requested that she be allowed to assist staff with the proposed amendments to this ordinance. The council requested that this be placed on an agenda for their discussion and would like to know what the minimum requirement of the state statute is.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer

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