Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Draft Minutes May 22, 2014
Chair Joshua Boettiger called the meeting to order at 4:33 in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Boettiger made a change to the agenda eliminating item #3 Rules for Commissions and Committees.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Joshua Boettiger Pam Marsh
Heidi Parker  
Connie Saldana SOU Liaison
Michael Gutman Andrew Ensslin
Regina Ayars  
Rich Rohde, left at 5:30 Staff Present:
Coriann Matthews, absent Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist
Sue Crader Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
Gina DuQuenne  
Approval of Minutes
Gutman/Crader m/s to approve the minutes of the April 24, 2014 Housing and Human Services Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes; minutes were approved as presented. 
Kathy Kennedy was present and interested in agenda item #5, Ashland Land Use Ordinance Provisions for Affordable Housing.
Pat Acklin, Southern Oregon University Professor was present with the students from her ES/Geog 440/540 class to give a presentation on the Parking availability at Affordable Housing complexes within the City of Ashland.  Three student work teams were formed and the following housing units were assigned to the students.
  • Ashley Garden
  • Ashley Senior Center
  • Donald E. Lewis Retirement Center
  • Stratford Apartments
  • Parkview Apartments
  • Snowberry Brook
  • Hyde Park
  • Star Thistle
The general conclusions that the students arrived at were;
  • Some residents preferred on-street parking when it was available, particularly Snowberry Brook residents.
  • On-street parking feels more like a traditional home setting
  • Generally the supply of parking exceeds the demand
  • If there were issues with space availability, the survey may have attracted more respondents
After the study was completed the recommendations from the students were as follows. 
  • In general we recommend less on-site parking, especially if on-street parking is available.
  • Use this data to create future parking policy for affordable housing
  • Repeat the parking inventory for standard multi-family developments
  • Conduct the survey with the questionnaire using other data collection methods.
Goldman reviewed the Land Use Ordinances that include provisions for affordable housing.
Annexation – The City requires all residential annexations to provide approximately 15-13% of the units as affordable or dedicate adequate land to meet this standard to an affordable housing provider (non-profit) there is a sixty year minimum period of affordability.  This only applies to land outside the City Limits that request to come into the City.
Zone Changes – Though this rarely happens Goldman recalled a zone change request for the Fordyce Co-Housing project.  The applicant requested to change the zone from a single family to a multifamily zone ultimately requiring them to provide two affordable units (15%) sold to low income households (earning less than 60% AMI).  These two units required deep subsidy on behalf of the developers as even with the City waiving all system development charges the cost of construction alone exceeded the price they had to sell for to not overburden the 60% AMI households.
Density Bonuses – The zoning sets the “base density” however in cases where a developer wants to increase the total number of units provided on site they can obtain “bonuses” to effectively increase the density allowed.  This essentially means a developer need not decrease the number of market rate units built if they want to include affordable units. 
Accessory Residential Units – These are small secondary units on a single family zoned property.  Generally they are stand alone cottage like buildings in back yards; some are above garages, some in daylight basements.  All have their own entrances and their own kitchen which distinguishes them from a simple room rental within a primary house. 
Condominium Conversions –Essentially apartment building owners could have each individual units surveyed as a 3-d interior space and “condominimized” to then be sold individually.  This became very popular to do in Ashland in the 2000’s. A positive outcome of this practice included investments into the maintenance of these complexes (building improvements) and the creation of lower market rate housing for sale.
Goldman said the Planning Commission is currently discussing ordinance changes and will provide recommendations to the City Council for the following;
  • Relaxed requirements for ARUs (outright permitted as opposed to a Conditional Use Permit
  • Cottage Housing Standards would allow small cottages around common greens to be permitted in place of larger single family homes.
  • Density Bonus for affordable housing – change to 2 for 1 to incentivize the provision of affordable units.
  • Relaxed manufactured dwelling standards and park standards
Reid will present the Strategic Plan Proposal to the City Council at their June 3rd meeting.
Saldana/Crader m/s to approve the proposed addition to the social services grant proposal. Voice Vote:  All ayes motion passed unanimously.
Council – Marsh reported that City Council passed a package of five utility increases.  The increases will cost the average household $10.00 a month. The City still offers an electrical subsidy program for those that qualify with a 60% of AMI or less.  The Normal Plan has been to the Council for public input and will be discussed further at a special meeting at 7:30 on May 29th in Council Chambers.  Anyone that has not spoken yet will have an opportunity to do so at that meeting. The R-1 issue is scheduled to come back to the Council either mid June or early July. At this time the Planning Commission is not recommending that ARU’s be allowed to be used as short term rentals but rather see bedrooms within homes. Council has requested a report from the new Resource Center with an update on how its working, how many people they are serving and if there are any new programs are on the horizons.
SOU – SOU Liaison Ennslin and Christy Wright are working on developing a forum reaching out to landlords. They would like to gather feedback from landlords regarding Student Fair Housing. Ennslin asked if this Commission would be interested in hosting that forum.  They are interested in having the forum either at the Ashland Public library, Council Chambers or this Community Development building. It was suggested to invite the Real Estate Association and the Southern Oregon Rental Association.  Put this topic on the June agenda.
The Commissioners discussed when to have their goal setting meeting and it was determined that it would work best for everyone at the August meeting.
Quorum Check – Ayars may not be able to attend but will let Reid know asap.
Fair Housing discussion, next step with the strategic plan, business license and rental registry. 
Housing and Human Services Commission regular meeting – June 26, 2014, 4:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development Building located at 51 Winburn Way
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:15p.m.
respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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