MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 6, 2013
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present. Councilor Voisin arrived at 7:12 p.m.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Firewise, Tree, and Planning Commissions, and one vacancy on the Band Board.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of July 15, 2013 and Business Meeting of July 16, 2013 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Public Works Director Mike Faught and City Engineer Scott Fleury presented the Water and Wastewater Master Plan update. The update included status on projects and financing options. These included key projects out to 2018 and focused on peak demand, addressed water supply, and the water treatment plant’s vulnerability to catastrophic events.
Capital Projects included the following:
- Construct a new 2.5 MGD water treatment plant-letter of intent submittal for an Oregon Health Authority loan in order to engineer and construct the new treatment plant
- Construct a new treated water tank-letter of intent submittal for an Oregon Health Authority loan in order to engineer and construct the new treated water tank
- Upgrade the existing Park Estates tank-qualification based selection (QBS) request for proposal (RFP) to include evaluation and engineering of system improvements for Park Estates and associated waterline improvements
- Pipe the TID ditch-low interest loan secured for engineering and associated construction projects
- Construct an emergency TAP pipeline-working with Medford Water Commission on potential system development charges, preliminary discussion about an emergency water agreement with the City of Phoenix
- Meet projected demands that have been reduced based on 5% conservation-water reduction target of .31% and analyze conservation programs
- Pipe replacement projects
- .5 FTE Engineering Tech
- .5 FTE Water Conservation position – focus would be on irrigation
Wastewater Capital Projects included the following:
- Shading (tree planting) – RFP to obtain a managing partner to perform duties associated with riparian restoration to generate thermal credits-working with DEQ to finalize the trading program – “trading program” is trading of cooling elements within the Bear Creek Watershed.
- New pipes that will parallel Bear Creek-RFP for engineering portions of the project
- New oxidation ditch at the Waste Water Treatment Plant-working with DEQ to finalize loan documents for the capital project
- Relocate the effluent outfall pipe to Bear Creek-RFP to perform the DEQ required outfall relocation study
- Pipeline replacement and system maintenance-engineered and constructed in a timely manner per wastewater master plan
- .5 FTE Engineering Tech
- 1.0 FTE Wastewater Collections Lead Foreman
Staff submitted loan applications to the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) Revolving Loan Fund and recently submitted a loan application for the remaining wastewater projects, and one water project that would pipe the TID canal. The staff focus was water fund financing and would attend a one-stop funding meeting to evaluate the best loan options for Ashland.
1. Contract with the University of Oregon for downtown parking and multi-modal study
2. Award of contract to apparent low bidder for the 2013 Slurry Seal Project
3. Appointment of Damian M. Idiart as Judge Pro Tem
4. Liquor license application for Mary Dozier dba the Deli Downstairs and Lounge South
5. Liquor license application for Gill Anderson dba Platt Anderson Cellars
6. Request for approval of AFG SAFER Grant application through the Department of Homeland Security
7. A resolution titled, “A resolution directing city administrator to establish standards for street pennants.”
Council pulled Consent Agenda Item #1 for further discussion. Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the Transportation System Plan included a high priority project to study traffic circulation, multi-modal, parking, and truck deliveries in the downtown area. The downtown study advisory group would include two members from the Planning and Transportation Commissions, two Chamber of Commerce members, two downtown business owners, and two residents living in the downtown area. The study would provide new and previous data. The University of Oregon had the qualifications needed to do this type of study and understood the project’s high priority. The Director and project lead of the program addressed Council concerns involving graduate students in the study and Mr. Faught was confident they would be successful.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #1. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse would not support the motion. The study was not in the current Budget and there were other critical projects like the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) watershed project in the Budget unfunded. City Administrator Dave Kanner confirmed the AFR project was included in the Budget and there was not a dedicated revenue stream identified. Mayor Stromberg added there was $200,000 dedicated parking revenue from parking fines that would fund the parking and transportation study. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Morris, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Morris pulled Consent Agenda Item #5 for further discussion. City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the Planning Department along with the Wastewater and Building Code Divisions and the Fire Department reviewed the liquor license application for 330 Otis Street and determined it met home occupation code and building requirements. The applicant would make wine at the residence and would not sell the product on the premises.
Councilor Marsh pulled Consent Agenda Item #6 for further discussion. Fire Chief John Karns addressed the AFG SAFER grant application that would fund three firefighter positions for two years. The worst-case scenario was potentially letting the employees go at the end of the grant. Chief Karns was confident during that time two employees would retire and a third employee was leaving for another fire department in the area. The grant was competitive and there was a 5% or less chance the Fire Department would receive the grant.
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #2 through #7.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing and first reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending the Health and Sanitation Chapter (9.08) and the General Regulations Chapter (18.68) of the Ashland Municipal Code to establish provisions for the keeping of micro-livestock and bees within residential districts”
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained the ordinance addressed keeping micro livestock and specifically bees to promote local food production. Staff worked with local residents familiar with animal husbandry as well as beekeeping and identified four amendments to the code. One objective was the opportunities to increase household food security and local food production. The second objective was being considerate of potential adverse impacts to neighboring properties. The third developed measurable thresholds that would allow urban homesteaders to easily know and comply with regulations. The fourth established clear and objective standards that would not require a discretionary permit approval process and provide clarity for code compliance purposes.
The use of square footage to determine the number of animals was common in the delimiter number of animals per property. The ordinance prohibited peacocks and geese due to noise. Staff was aware of only one complaint regarding beehives. The allowance of three hives on lots less than one acre was consistent with code in other cities. Staff added turkeys for individuals interested in meat production.
Mr. Goldman addressed potential problems with raising livestock and neighbors with bee allergies. Residents keeping chickens were required to have an accessory unit that would protect them from raccoons. The requirement to keep manure in a 20-gallon container would cut down on odor. Bees used a 25 square mile radius to search for pollen so the adjacency of hives did not necessarily put a higher concentration of bees on neighboring properties. Establishing water on site so bees would not have to foray to neighbors and flyaway barriers would reduce the potential further. Currently the code did not have an avenue for neighboring properties to object to beehives. Some communities used a permit and notification process for beekeeping.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 8:19 p.m.
Mark Spector/2285 Marada Lane/Spoke against the proposal and expressed concern regarding noise, hygiene, and odor relating to chickens. His neighbor briefly had bee boxes where 2,000 bees swarmed his yard once. His wife had a bee allergy and they were unable to contact the neighbor to deal with the issue. Another concern was oversight.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 8:23 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to approve the First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled “An ordinance amending the Health and Sanitation chapter (9.08) and the General Regulations chapter (18.68) of the Ashland Municipal Code and Land Use Ordinance to establish provisions for the keeping of micro-livestock and bees within residential districts,” and place on agenda for Second Reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse noted Mr. Spector’s testimony and wanted to ensure there was accountability. Councilor Marsh expressed the need to monitor the ordinance carefully, have status reports, and questioned whether parts were enforceable. Councilor Slattery was concerned with the inclusion of bees and wanted to consider a permit process that included some form of notification to neighbors. Councilor Rosenthal voiced concern regarding beekeeping and thought it required further examination.
Councilor Morris commented a permit process would inform the applicant of the legal requirements and responsibilities involved as well as education. He supported the motion and thought it required close monitoring for the first years. Councilor Voisin added a permit process should include processing costs. Councilor Rosenthal noted if Council acted on the precautionary principle, it would be wrong to allow bees and supported a permit process specifically for beekeeping.
Councilor Slattery/Rosenthal motion to amend the ordinance that keeping bees involved some type of permit process provided by staff and included the ability to revoke the permit.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Slattery did not want the permit process to be expensive or cumbersome just a permitting process on record that notified people bees were coming into the area. Councilor Rosenthal agreed and wanted conditions where the City could revoke a permit if needed. Councilor Lemhouse confirmed the amendment would not remove beekeeping from the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Slattery, Marsh, Morris, and Rosenthal, YES.
Roll Call Vote on Main Motion: Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Slattery, Marsh, Morris, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC FORUM - None
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS - None
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. A resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council of the City of Ashland approving the formation of the Jackson County 4-H, Master Gardeners, and Agricultural Extension Service District”
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the organization Friends of Research and Extension were seeking approval to circulate a petition to place a special district measure on the May 2014 ballot to provide a dedicated tax base for the Jackson County Extension Service. The special district would create a tax base of .05 cents per $1,000 assessed value to make up the difference lost due to budget cuts. The resolution would allow the voters of Ashland to vote for or against the creation of the special district if it made it on the ballot. Mayor Stromberg added Friends of Research and Extension could not circulate petitions until cities passed a resolution.
Sherrill Morgan/484 Euclid Street/Explained she was a member of Friends of Research and Extension who was looking for other funding avenues since Jackson County cut their budget. If the ballot measure passed, a median home in Jackson County’s assessed value would be $7 a year. In addition to budget cuts, the Extension was now required to pay rent and maintenance costs. Currently Gold Hill approved the resolution and all other cities had presentations. Cities that opted out would not vote on the measure or pay the tax. Out of 35 counties, 21 had established service districts and all their cities opted in. The maximum tax was .05 cents per $1,000. Cities experiencing compression would not pay the full tax.
Mr. Kanner explained when compression occurred in a city, local levy options were the first cut. The Extension Services was a special district tax that created a new government entity.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Resolution #2013-26. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin thought it was one of the most important districts for citizens to vote on. It reached youth, seniors, and small farms. Councilor Slattery agreed it should go before the citizens for a vote. Councilor Lemhouse added Council was obligated to ensure citizens had the option to vote on the measure. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Morris, Marsh, Voisin, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
2. A resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter one night per week through April, 2014”
City Administrator Dave Kanner contacted The Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalists Fellowship (RVUUF) and Temple Emek Shalom and both agencies were willing to provide volunteers to staff the shelter. Pioneer Hall was available as well. The timeframe indicated was December 2013 through April 2014 but Council could choose to open the shelter in November. One change was shelter guests and volunteers would have to be out of the building by 7:30 a.m. Friday mornings instead of 8:00 a.m. due to another organization reserving Pioneer Hall for the majority of Friday mornings. The resolution did not include dogs, and would not require volunteers who went through background checks earlier in the year to go through another.
Council noted a correction to the Council Communication changing Episcopal Lutheran Church to Trinity Episcopal Church.
Vanessa Houk/137 5th Street/Asked Council to approve the resolution. Having a shelter one night a week for the homeless during the coldest months of the year was good. She noted Council’s compassion and knew they would act with kindness.
John Wieczorek/165 Orange Street/Introduced himself as the Committee Chair for the Social Justice and Action Committee from RVUUF, thanked Council for the prior year’s shelter, and their consideration to renew the contract again. RVUUF and Temple Emek Shalom were prepared to host the shelter winter 2013-2014.
Councilor Rosenthal noted Section 3(e) of the resolution prohibited pets and thought there should be language that permitted service animals into the shelter per ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act). Councilor Slattery added Council should address allowing dogs in general.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Resolution #2013-28 for November 2013-April 2014 and include allowance of service animals as defined by state statute. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Rosenthal regarding service animals. He preferred starting the shelter in November instead of December due to potential weather. Councilor Slattery supported the timeframe, and was interested in information on allowing dogs in the shelter. Mr. Kanner noted Resolution 2013-04 amended the emergency shelter to allow dogs. Staff could use that language and apply it to the winter shelter resolution. Additionally, Mr. Kanner could meet with RVUUF and Temple Emek Shalom representatives to discuss potential language for Council to consider. Councilor Slattery wanted shelter volunteer agreement on a policy regarding dogs since they would be the ones overseeing the process. Councilor Marsh commented on the difficulty distinguishing service dogs. She thought Council should pass the resolution, get more information on service dogs, and then have the bigger discussion on allowing dogs. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Slattery, Morris, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
Council directed staff to bring back information to allow dogs in general.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Voisin announced the screening of a film call In Search of Truth at the Varsity Theater, August 20, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. The film was free of charge. Police Chief Terry Holderness further explained the film was about how adult survivors of child sexual abuse coped and their experiences trying to report the abuse. The Ashland Police Department figured prominently in the film due to the You Have Options Program. Afterwards, a panel discussion of various people would discuss issues raised in the film.
Councilor Lemhouse thanked the Parks and Recreation Department for getting the playfields ready for the recent Little League Tournament. He commented on the success of the Pacific Rim Bowl where forty Ashland High School students went to Japan for a cultural exchange. Additionally, the Ashland Food Project drive weekend was coming soon and he reminded citizens to set out their green food bags. The Ashland Food Bank fed 550 families a month, one hundred more than the prior year.
Meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor