MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Monday, July 14, 2014
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Rosenthal, Voisin, and Marsh were present. Councilor Slattery was absent.
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
2. Discussion about the DRAFT Film and Television Production Guidelines and Policy
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the guidelines would help establish a new resolution for fees and alter the existing ordinance. The guidelines added flexibility and gave the City Administrator the discretion to waive permit fees and liability insurance. The current Resolution 1984-45 was difficult to navigate, had outdated language, and was no longer relevant. Staff worked with JOMA Films and Southern Oregon Film and Television (SOFaT) to revise the fee schedule.
Large productions that required involvement from multiple departments and resources would trigger a Special Event Permit process. The applicant would pay 60% of actual costs to staff including overtime. Resolution 1984-45 charged double time and a half for the Fire Marshal to be present during filming.
Staff followed other jurisdictions regarding a film permit for private property. It provided an opportunity to inform neighbors and give the production company information on local noise and lighting code. Council was interested in having two tracks, one for filming on private property with a film permit, neighbor notification and no fee. The other track for filming on public property would require a film permit, possibly other permits and charge fees. Other Council suggestions would provide guidelines and parking codes for private filming at no charge and if the production did not inform the City, they incurred a fine. Ms. Seltzer confirmed the ordinance made it a violation if a production company did not attain a permit. Other comments thought a fee based permit and business license was appropriate.
Assistant City Attorney Doug McGeary clarified the guidelines were an exception to land use decision regarding private residences. Ms. Seltzer added the City Administrator had the flexibility to waive the insurance requirement for filming on private property as well as fees. The fees were an attempt to cover costs. The liability insurance requirement only applied to public property, not private. The production company applied for the permit. The property owner gave the production company permission to use their home and signed the indemnification clause. The City Administrator would not waive an indemnification clause for public or private property.
Council and staff discussed nonprofit productions. Staff clarified if a production closed a street or sidewalk, the impact was the same whether they were nonprofit or not. The focus was regulating the impact not the applicant. Council wanted guidelines to provide for private non-commercial uses like public service announcements (PSAs) and possibly add nonprofit organizations under non-commercial use. The previous ordinance exempted nonprofits. Other comments wanted permit fees to apply to all applicants so the City could determine impact and cover some staff costs. Staff explained the City Administrator could lower or waive the $2,000,000 insurance requirement.
Council suggestions included having the property owner be responsible for the film permit and recouping the fees from the production company for use of their residence. Staff explained the production company applied for the permit, paid the fees, and had a separate agreement with the private property owner. The guidelines would work in conjunction with the ordinance.
Council wanted exemptions for nonprofits and films or videos with little impact. Council would send Ms. Seltzer suggestions.
3. Council input to the League of Oregon Cities regarding legislative priorities
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) appointed various policy committees to suggest legislative priorities for the upcoming session. LOC had a list of 22 items and wanted each city to vote on four.
Council discussed their choices and voted for the following:
F: Support efforts to eliminate the sunset on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program
I: Improve clarity and certainty around the transient lodging tax statute
M: Enhance mental health services
S: Pass a comprehensive transportation funding and policy package
Meeting adjourned at 6:58 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder