Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, March 25, 2013

City of Ashland
March 25, 2013

Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Seffinger, Shaw; City Council Liaison Voisin, Director Robertson; Superintendent Dials
Absent:  Commissioner Lewis; Superintendent Dickens

Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

Study Session – February 19, 2013
MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Regular Meeting – February 25, 2013
MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes





Robertson said staff applied for a park development grant in 2012 for Ashland Creek Park. Grant funding was not received and staff hoped to apply again in spring 2013. Landt said he and Lewis met to discuss scaling back the project for the 2013 grant application. They proposed keeping the master plan intact but reducing the project scope or not expanding certain amenities such as community garden space. Landt said a revised resolution was sent to the commission that reflected the outcome of the Landt / Lewis meeting.

Robertson said the scaled-back project would reduce costs and possibly increase chances for grant funding. He recommended approval of the draft resolution endorsing the proposed grant for the construction of Ashland Creek Park.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the Ashland Creek Park Grant Resolution as amended. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was:
Landt, Seffinger, Shaw – yes
Gardiner – no

Dials said the commission managed annual outdoor restaurant seating contracts on the Calle Guanajuato as well as the Lithia Artisan Market contract. The Calle season generally spanned April 1 through November 15. Artisans were charged $5 per square foot and restaurants $6 per square foot.
Actions requested included:

  1. Determine the “season of operation” for the artisans and restaurants

  2. Approve or deny the Calle Guanajuato restaurant seating agreements for the 2013 season

  3. Approve or deny the Amendment for the artisans to utilize the Calle on the 4th of July when it does not fall on a weekend
  1. Approve or deny a request from the artisans to utilize space on the opposite side of the bridge


Dials said Oberon’s and Salame, both new restaurants and both within the same proximity to an alcove space on the Calle, were requesting the same 253.5 square feet of space. She said the commission could grant the space to one or the other restaurant, grant the space to neither restaurant, or split the space in half and give each restaurant 126.75 square feet of space.

Public Input
Chris Hearn, 515 E. Main Street, speaking on behalf of his client, Salame Restaurant owner Anna Hogan, said Hogan’s space was formerly occupied by Grilla Bites Restaurant and she also purchased their equipment. Hogan was assured, at the time of purchase, that she would have access to outdoor dining for a period spanning April 1 through November 15. He said the proposed space allotment for Salame would only allow for three tables as the area was proposed for sharing with an adjacent new restaurant, Oberon’s Tavern. One dedicated waitperson was proposed for the Salame outdoor area during the season but that wouldn’t be practical for three tables. He referenced a portion of the Calle restaurant seating contract: “Restaurant seniority shall take precedence when two or more restaurants are within the same proximity to a site location. ‘Seniority’ shall be determined by a review of the past year’s permit agreements affording privilege status to the most recent and / or continuous use. Final selection shall be made by the commission.” Hearn said the space had been continuously leased by restaurants since 1999 while the adjacent establishment had been a retail store. He asked the commission to consider Hogan’s request in terms of economies of scale.

Anna Hogan, 47 N. Main Street, Salame Restaurant owner, also referenced the Calle seating contract and reiterated many of Hearn’s points. She said when she purchased the Grilla Bites location, she did so knowing the building had been continuously operated as a restaurant and would remain a restaurant.

Lloyd Haines, 96 N. Main Street, said he had owned the building [in which Salame Restaurant was situated] for the past 25 years and it had been continuously operated as a restaurant while the adjacent building had been a retail store. He said the lease was transferred from the previous restaurant owner to the current restaurant owner, Salame.

Jordan Mackay, 45 N. Main Street, said his new restaurant, Oberon’s Tavern, situated between Louie’s and Salame, also had a right to thrive and grow. He said the Louie’s owners had been gracious and considerate. He asked for an equal division of Calle square footage for both Salame and Oberon’s and said his preference was for a harmonious sharing of outdoor dining space.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Gardiner asked if it would be possible to shift restaurant spaces to accommodate additional space requests. Robertson said each shift would move restaurants further from their restaurant buildings. Dials said shifting would also affect artisan booths on the Calle. In terms of Salame’s point about continuing to operate a restaurant out of the former Grilla Bites, Robertson asked if Salame used the same tax identification number as Grilla Bites or if it had its own number. Landt said each space was rented from Parks, not from the building owner / landlord through which the restaurant operated. Seffinger said she was concerned about fairness to both businesses and suggested splitting the space.

MOTION Landt moved to approve splitting the Calle square footage of 253.5 square feet equally between Salame Restaurant and Oberon’s Travern, with the exact square footage determined by Parks staff. Gardiner seconded the motion.

Discussion of Motion
Gardiner said he would have preferred restaurant owners first checking with the authorizing agency (the Parks Commission) on space contracts before assuming space rights. He said every year the commission worked diligently with the properties to satisfy the needs of Calle businesses. Shaw said it was a difficult dilemma for both restaurants and important to each restaurant. If the commission approved splitting the space, he asked Salame and Oberon’s Tavern to work together and become successful. Landt also voiced interest in the two restaurants’ success.

AMENDMENT OF MOTION: Landt moved to amend his motion: if only one restaurant chose to use the space, the remaining square footage would provide more free space on the Calle.

Discussion of Amendment
Gardiner suggested utilization of the space if possible. Robertson said if the adjacent restaurants were willing to move over a bit, as they indicated they would, some extra space would be available.

Gardiner seconded the amendment.

The vote was: All yes

MOTION: Shaw moved to allow artisans to utilize the Calle Guanajuato on the Fourth of July in 2013 as it did not fall on a weekend. Landt seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the 2013 Calle season of operation as proposed by staff: from March 31 through November 15. Shaw seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the 2013 Calle outdoor restaurant seating square footage as proposed by staff for the remaining restaurants on the Calle: Mix Sweet Shop, Umi Sushi, Louie’s Tavern, Greenleaf, and Sesame. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Dials said the artisans requested use of space on the opposite side of the Calle bridge. Landt said that was a natural area and even more out of the way than the Calle, on which the artisans said they had a difficult time making a livelihood. He suggested not approving the request. Gardiner said the more artisans displaying led to more revenues for the market and he had never considered it a bad idea. He said the commission could try it once and see how it worked out. Shaw said the two booths across from the bridge were not hardscaped and he wasn’t sure it would be appropriate to approve them. Seffinger said the proposed booths would provide a quiet view of the creek and be easily accessible but she suggested first soliciting public input on the matter.

MOTION: Gardiner moved to approve the artisan market request to utilize space on the opposite side of the Calle bridge. The motion died for lack of a second.

MOTION: Landt moved to deny the artisan market request to utilize space on the opposite side of the Calle bridge. Shaw seconded the motion.

The vote was:
Landt, Seffinger, Shaw – yes
Gardiner – no

Robertson said this was the first time Parks staff had prepared a budget for a biennial period. He asked the commission to provide changes or recommend adoption of the Parks budget to the Budget Committee. He said the Budget Officer (City Administrator) was responsible for everything contained within the City budget book and staff did not anticipate any budget changes over what was reviewed by the commission at their March 18 study session. He said this was a status quo budget and there would be no increases over the previous budget other than a 2% inflation factor and a 10% increase in Park Patrol for improved park rules enforcement. Increased costs for PERS would create a $700,000 additional budget burden for the City but only $100,000 was Parks’ responsibility. The City planned to go to a self-insurance program that would greatly reduce costs associated with administration of City health benefits. The City would be retaining all of the tax revenues (normally directed to Parks) but would fully fund the Parks budget.

Robertson referenced the “deferred maintenance” project lists for FY 12-13 and FY 13-14. He said the term “deferred maintenance” did not mean the projects had been neglected but that existing park infrastructure items needed to be repaired, improved or removed.

Robertson asked for adoption of the Parks budget or for suggestions on proposed budget adjustments. If adjustments were recommended, he said the Budget Officer would need to be contacted directly.

Landt said an ad hoc committee was formed, comprised of three councilors and two commissioners, and the first meeting was set for Thursday, March 28. The task of the committee was to consider short-term and long-term funding options for Parks. He asked that any motion on the Parks budget be contingent upon recommendations made by the ad hoc committee. He said the committee would hopefully address the City’s intention to use the Parks ending fund balance as a revenue stream for the City’s General Fund. He said the Parks ending fund balance should be considered as one-time only funds for the City, not as an ongoing revenue source.

In response to a question from City Council Liaison Voison about Oregon budget laws in relation to the Parks ending fund balance, Robertson said the City Administrator and City Attorney were of the belief that the changes caused by Measures 47 and 50 created one tax rate for the City, a belief that was reinforced by the opinion of a legal expert at Harvey Rogers and Associates. Because of those changes, the City believed it had control over all City dollars, both spend and unspent. The City agreed to retain up to 12% of surplus Parks revenues for the Parks ending fund balance, with the City underwriting any additional funding needed for Parks, with the balance becoming City assets and folded into the City General Fund.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the Parks budget as presented, contingent upon its consistency with any recommendations from the Parks / City Council Ad Hoc Committee. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Robertson reported on enormous amounts of vandalism and other illegal activities at the Ashland Skate Park, including defacement of restrooms, destroyed signage, excessive graffiti, and camping in the bowls. He distributed photographs of damages and said the Ashland Police Department intended to increase patrols in the area. He said the severe damage required staff time and efforts intended for other park areas and staff was considering closing off or shutting down the park for a period of time. He said it was frustrating and demoralizing for legitimate park patrons as well as staff.

Shaw said the garbage cans along Winburn Way made a significant difference in the cleanliness of that area in Lithia Park. He thanked staff for their efforts.


  • Study session set for April 15 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topic:

    • Budget Discussion

  • Regular meeting set for April 22 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topic:

  • Forestry and Trails Division Overview

By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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