Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

February 4, 2014
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Tree, Public Arts, and Firewise Commissions, and the Band Board.  The City was conducting a parking survey and the Mayor encouraged all citizens to participate.
The minutes of the Business Meeting of January 21, 2014 were approved as presented.
1.   Acceptance of commission minutes
2.   Appointment of Keith Whitman to the Forest Lands Commission
3.   Appointment of Lynn Thompson to the Planning Commission
4.   Report on City of Ashland’s Sweatfree Purchasing Policy, program, and participation in the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium
5.   Approval of a liquor license application for Ryan Bottano dba Granit Taphouse, LLC
6.   System Development Charge Review Committee appointments
Mayor Stromberg pulled Consent Agenda item #3 for further discussion.
Lynn Thompson/125 North Main Street/Due to her potential appointment to the Planning Commission, Ms. Thompson felt obliged to provide information on a land use matter regarding building a carport cover on her property. 
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to appoint Lynn Thompson to the Planning Commission.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse and Slattery appreciated Ms. Thompson coming forward and thanked her for her service.  Councilor Marsh thought this was the kind of experience people had and it was valuable when someone was in that decision making mode to understand how the City communicated what the requirements were and how they are able to meet those requirements.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin/Morris m/s to approve remaining Consent Agenda items.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen and Council discussed noticing the current vacancy on the Budget Committee.  Council consensus directed Ms. Christensen to advertise the position and bring applications for appointment to the second meeting in March or the first meeting in April.
Jonny Boulton/165 East Main Street/Introduced a new public concern group Citizens for a Really Safe Ashland that represented over 30 Ashland residents.  The group drafted a public safety ordinance that would not address any genuine or legitimate issues and served to promote a divisive and partisan agenda.  The proposed ordinance would regulate the public visibility of and seek to punish those that allowed minors access to the following potentially dangerous and scary items, knives, chainsaws, power tools, hammers, ladders, bathtubs, car keys, alcohol, prescription and non-prescription medication. He hoped Council appreciated the genuine concerns that Citizens for a Really Safe Ashland brought before them and reminded Council they were bound primarily to uphold the constitutions.
Bill Skillman/635 Oak Knoll Drive/The proposed gun ordinances were a first step in stricter gun control.  His understanding of the proposed ordinance would prohibit him from carrying ammunition for his weapon.  The ordinance would penalize law-abiding citizens and their ability to protect themselves when they were in public or possibly protect others around them.  He strongly urged Council to vote against more regulation than what was already established. 
1.   Second Quarter Financial Report for year one of the 2013-2015 Biennium
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained they received notification from the Government Finance Officers Association that the biennium budget document submitted by the City met the standards. 
Councilor Rosenthal/Slattery m/s to accept the Second Quarter Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2.   Presentation regarding drought preparedness
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained there was sufficient water supply with 3,600,000 gallons coming through the east and west forks of Ashland Creek into Reeder Reservoir and a demand of 1,300,000 gallons.  The concern was the future and lack of snowpack.  May 1, 2014 would determine further steps.  The City had Ashland Municipal Code 14.06 Water Curtailment and the Water Master Plan that identified projects and steps to increase water supply during drought situations.
Snowpack levels needed to be 60 inches by May 1, 2014 to avoid water shortage issues.  Staff would check snowpack and the flow from the east and west forks of Ashland Creek to determine if it was meeting the demand on Reeder Reservoir.
If there was a water shortage, the City Administrator could enact the water curtailment plan with Council approval.  The first step was adding TID (Talent Irrigation District) water. If TID was not sufficient to keep up with demand, the next step was voluntary curtailment.  If voluntary curtailment was not enough the City Administrator could add a water waste prohibition that prohibited water running into the streets, washing sidewalks, walkways, cars and restaurants serving water only if requested by the customer.  At each stage, staff would look at the demand and drawdown curve. 
If Ashland exceeded demand, the City could implement Stage 1 of the Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 14.06 Water Curtailment and reduce residential allocations to 3,600 cubic feet or 26,930 gallons.  Stage 2 dropped to 2,500 cubic feet or 18,000 gallons, Stage 3 was 1,800 cubic feet at 13,000 gallons and Stage 4, 900 cubic feet at 6,700 gallons.  Stages 1-3 had a special rate for water used above the allotment where the City would charge four times the current rate.  For Stage 4 usage above the allocation, the City would charge 10 times the current rate.
In addition to the curtailment code, the TAP line (Talent Ashland Phoenix) is currently scheduled for 2015 construction.  Because it was in a biennial budget, the City could move forward and build that sooner.  Staff would come to the next Council meeting to ask for an emergency procurement approval to hire engineers to move forward on design with possible installation August or September.  Staff was also working with the Medford Water Commission on contracts for the system development charges and anticipated a proposal for Council at the March 4, 2014 meeting.
Conservation Specialist Julie Smitherman reiterated there was no current crisis regarding water supply.  Going into the summer months, she suggested people avoid watering too early in the season.  Residents could test their soil with a moisture meter to see if it needed any water.  The City offered an Irrigation Evaluation program for customers that would provide them with a customized watering schedule and reduce water usage from 20%-50%.  In addition, the City had a water wise landscaping website and provided water moisture meters for interested customers.
1.   Second Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 6.04, Business Licenses”
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3091.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse thought it was appropriate to have but wanted to separate it from medical marijuana dispensaries.  The change occurred because it conflicted with how the City did business. 
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Voisin, Marsh, Slattery, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
2.   First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 6.36, Film and Television Productions”
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the revised ordinance was modeled partially on the Oregon Governors office on Film and Television.  It expanded definitions to include charitable films, news media, classes, and studio filming.  The permit submittal requirement would change from 5 days prior to production to 10 days.  If the production triggered the need for a special event permit, the application needed to be submitted four weeks in advance or pay a rush fee.   The ordinance would add a new paragraph that clarified additional fees for other services as required.  Liability insurance would increase to $2,000,000 and include Workers Compensation insurance and indemnification.  Filming regulation had new language that covered a range of the City’s expectations and requirements including clean up, sanitation, traffic control and others.
Additional suggestions from staff included changing Section 6.36.040 Permit Requirements (C) Permit Exemptions (2) Family Video to Personal Video and  Section 6.36.040 Permit Requirements (D) Fee Exemptions (3) would require a permit for filming on private property with no fee charged to manage code restrictions in residential neighborhoods.  City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the noise ordinance also required permits and violation could entail a fine.  Filming could cause a lot of disruption without a lot of noise. The provision was not prohibitive.
Ms. Seltzer clarified the ordinance would not pertain to filming at Southern Oregon University (SOU) and suggested adding language that specified the exemption.  Under Section 6.36.080 Liability Issues Liability Insurance and the $2,000,000 requirement, Mr. Lohman suggested possibly editing the language to require the applicant show proof of insurance coverage in an amount to be determined by the City Administrator.
Council had issues with Section 6.36.090 Filming Regulations (B) Clean Up regarding clean up of private property as well as potential permit issues for multiple students filming for a class.  Staff could change the requirement and have the leader of a class project obtain the permits instead.  Council suggested having various thresholds drive permits and wanted staff to look into the Special Permit process to see what might apply to the proposed ordinance.
City Administrator Dave Kanner suggested changing Section 6.36.040 Permit Requirements (C) Permit Exemptions (2) to read Personal or Student Produced Educational Video for Private or Non-Profit Use.  He also suggested moving  Section 6.36.040 Permit Requirements (D) Fee Exemptions (2) to Permit Exemptions and add “classes in audio visual related work including student non-commercial or teaching productions when such works occurs on public or private primary, secondary or college property,”  as well as adding a separate section to 6.36.040 Permit Requirements that addressed filming on private property.
Anne Lundgren/325 Ravenwood Place/Explained she was a filmmaker and business owner in Ashland.   She suggested having the four-hour cleanup requirement occur after wrap time when the permit was over.  Additionally, the 10-day permit requirement would work with large productions but not as well for smaller productions.  She also suggested making the definitions broader with a distinction between public and private property. 
Erik Palmer/111 Willamette Boulevard, Medford OR/Introduced himself as a professor at Southern Oregon University (SOU), and the Academic Coordinator for Southern Oregon Digital Media Center but spoke unofficially.  Even with a fee waiver, student and public access producers having to apply for permits 10 days ahead and the increase in insurance presented a burden for small productions.  He hoped they could work together with the City on a set of revisions that preserved the flexibility for small non-profit educational public access productions.  He suggested a cap on crew size and considering academic and public access productions more like the journalism exceptions written into the existing regulation and less like the commercial productions.
Gary Kout/425 Clinton Street/Explained he was the executive director and founder of the Southern Oregon Film and Television (SOFAT).  He agreed with earlier testimony regarding permits and liability.  He noted Santa Monica CA had stringent permit requirements with the exception that productions entirely on private property did not require a permit.  He addressed educational films and thought it unlikely that filming activity would pose any potential problems in the public sector.  The increase in insurance was substantial.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s that the ordinance amending AMC Chapter 6.36 Film and Television Productions apply to commercial film and television productions that take place on public or city property. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse was concerned regarding private property rights and making the ordinance unable to enforce.  Adding language that stated although non-commercial filming was not held to the ordinance they were held to the municipal code would help the 10-day permit requirement.
Councilor Marsh noted her concern about the inclusion of charitable and student films in the permit requirement.  The ordinance should focus on larger productions that had a greater impact on the community.  She suggested adding criteria to the ordinance that would trigger the requirement of a permit and used crew size, street closures, amplified music, or sound systems as examples.  The ordinance could read these productions are not required to get a permit unless they met one of the following criteria.
Councilor Rosenthal supported the distinction of public and private property.  He suggested staff do additional work on the ordinance and it bring back to Council at a future meeting.  Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Rosenthal that the ordinance required further work and wanted SOU film crews covered.  Councilor Morris also agreed with Councilor Rosenthal.  The City was trying to regulate technology using the old system.  The other issue was the ordinance might be too complex.  Councilor Voisin also agreed the ordinance needed further work.  Councilor Lemhouse supported Council and reiterated the concern of over regulating the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Voisin, Marsh, Rosenthal, Slattery, and Morris, NO. Motion denied 1-5.
Council directed staff to revise the ordinance and bring it back to a future meeting.  Suggestions and changes included private property, commercial activity, liability insurance, over defining non-commercial activities, students, small productions, scaled commercial, and the broadness of the inclusion of charitable and students.  Other suggestions wanted 3-5 distinctive types of productions defined with specific rules and regulations.  Additionally, Council wanted staff to address whether to include stilled photography productions.
Mr. Lohman noted the proposed ordinance was similar to other cities and the changes requested could take considerable staff time.  He clarified the $2,000,000 for liability insurance was standard, staff could add some flexibility, but insurance could have a significant impact on the taxpayers.
Councilor Voisin invited everyone to the opening of the Ashland Community Resource Center at 570 Clover Lane Thursday February 6, 2014.  Councilor Marsh added they would also demonstrate the new shower trailer as well.
Meeting adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
________________________________                    ____________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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