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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Minutes July 9, 2015
CALL TO ORDER – Chair Gregg Trunnell called the meeting of the Ashland Tree Commission to order at 6:00 p.m. on July 9, 2015 in the Siskiyou Room located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland Oregon.

Commissioners Council Liaison
Ken Schmidt Carol Voisin
Gregg Trunnell Staff
Casey Roland Derek Severson, Associate Planner
Maureen Battistella Zechariah Heck, Assistant Planner
  Pete Baughman, Parks Liaison

Minutes from the June 4, 2015 meeting were approved with an amendment that Casey Roland had placed limb supports on the Clay Street Cottonwood sometime during June/July 2014.
No one present spoke.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-00991                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        156 Van Ness
OWNER:                                Southern Oregon Renovations
APPLICANT:                         Sean Downey
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a minor modification to Site Review (PA2015-00178) in the form of a Tree Removal Permit. The subject tree was previously designated to be protected under the Site Review permit and thus why the applicant needs to go through a modification to their pervious approval. 
The Tree Commission did not see the proximity of the two trees as a detriment to their overall vigor. The Commission did not agree with the applicant that removing one of the trees would help the other. Conversely, Commissioners stated, “strength in numbers” and felt that removing on tree could actually negatively impact the other. The Tree Commission unanimously recommended denial of the tree removal permit (minor modification to Site Review). Furthermore, the Commission mentioned they would reconsider if the applicant obtains an arborist report explaining why the tree needs to be removed.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-01212                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        1250 Ashland St.        
OWNER/APPLICANT:         Southern Oregon University
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a minor modification to a Site Review Permit (PA2014-00249) in the form of a Tree Removal Permit. The applicant previously designated five trees to be preserved during a remodel construction of the university’s science building. The applicant is now requesting the subject trees to be removed for various reasons. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Southern Oregon University; ZONING: SO; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 5BB; TAX LOT: 100
After a staff report the applicant explained their request and answered questions by Commissioners. There were several community members at the meeting to comment on the application. Public comments pertained to noise emitting from the science building and trees not being watered. Commissioners expressed concern regarding the applicant fencing off the entire project location and questioned the effectiveness of their tree protection fencing. The Tree Commissioners were not able to do an effective site visit because of the perimeter fencing. After some deliberation between the Commissioners and the applicant, a motion was unanimously passed to approve the tree removal permit with on-site mitigation of at least 3-inch specimens. Furthermore, the Tree Commission wanted to applicant to bring a mitigation plan for screen plantings (addressing noise issues) at the Commission’s next meeting in August.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA #2015-01099                                
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        233 Granite Street
APPLICANT:                         Kerry Kencairn
OWNERS:                              Kris and Heidi Jacobson
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a modification of the Tree Preservation and Protection Plan approved as part of PA #2014-00458 to allow the removal of two trees previously required to be preserved for the property at 233 Granite Street.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-10; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 08DA;  TAX LOT: 1300.
Before the meeting, a neighbor of 233 Granite Street submitted a comment stating that the tree protection fencing had been disregarded. At the meeting there were other neighbors that voiced concern of ineffective protection measures for trees during construction. The Tree Commission took issue with these comments and requested that staff purse a Type II enforcement/penalty.
Eventually, after much dialogue and confusion over mislabeled trees, the Commission determined the materials submitted for the tree removal were insufficient to make a recommendation. The Commission asked the applicant to clarify which trees were damaged and how their health was compromised in a resubmitted application for the Commission’s August meeting.
PLANNING ACTION:            PA #2015-01061                                
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        440 Glenview Dr.
APPLICANT:                         Kerry Kencairn
OWNERS:                              Hugh & Carolyn Askar
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a Physical & Environmental Constraints Review Permit to construct a new driveway and identify a building envelope on Hillside Lands with Severe Constraints for the property located at 440 Glenview Drive.  The proposal involves the removal of 12 trees, including one significant tree, an 18-inch diameter multi-trunked Oak.  Also included are requests for Exception to the Development Standards for Hillside Lands to allow the construction of a future home and a driveway more than 100 feet in length on lands with greater than 35 percent slope and to allow cut slopes and retaining wall heights which exceed the grading standards.
The Commissioners expressed concern that during their site visits they could not identify which trees are proposed to be removed as the trees were not tagged and the entire property was fenced, restricting commissioner access.  Commissioner Trunnell expressed concern that the proposal involved the removal of a number of trees without being directly associated with a proposal to develop the property.  Commissioner Battistella motioned to accept the plan with conditions that trees are tagged for removal and site is made available for visits to inspect trees tagged for removal; Commissioner Schmidt seconded the motion. However, Commissioner Roland abstained from a vote and Chair Trunnell did not agree with motion. The motion failed. Commissioner Trunnell then motioned that the Commission was unable to support the request, and would need to have the trees tagged or otherwise marked in order to re-assess the proposal. Commissioner Battistella seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-1208                        
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        15 S. Pioneer St./35 S. Pioneer St.
OWNER:                                City of Ashland
APPLICANT:                         Oregon Shakespeare Festival
DESCRIPTION:                     A request to modify Planning Action #2015-00878 which was a Site Review approval to allow exterior modifications associated with accessibility improvements and elevator installation at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Bowmer Theater  located at 35 S. Pioneer St.  The original approval included the removal of one 16-inch diameter Maple Tree; the current request proposes the removal of one additional tree – another 16-inch diameter Maple Tree.
Tree Commissioners discussed the proposal and were okay with removal if mitigated with Oak trees, 3-inches in DBH or greater. The applicant and Commissioners agreed that there is not much room for trees on the subject property so they agreed to locate the mitigation in Lithia Park. The applicant will coordinate with the Parks Department.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-00422                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        600-640-688-694-696 Tolman Creek Road and 2316 Hwy 66
APPLICANT:                         City of Ashland
OWNERS:                              Independent Printing Co., Inc./IPCO Development Corp.
AGENTS:                               CSA Planning, Ltd.
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for Site Design Review, Exception to Street Standards, Property Line Adjustment, Limited Use Permit/Water Resource Protection Zone Reduction for Construction in the Water Resource Protection Zone, Physical & Environmental Constraints Review Permit for Floodplain Development, and Tree Removal Permit approvals to allow the construction of a new public street “Independent Way” between Washington Street and Tolman Creek Road and associated changes to the lane configuration and on-street parking on Tolman Creek Road to its intersection with Ashland Street. (The proposal also includes the review of driveway locations and associated circulation to allow the coordinated initial grading and utility installation on the adjacent private property in conjunction with the new street installation, however the development of the adjacent private properties will be subject to future Site Design Review as individual buildings are proposed.)
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Employment; ZONING: E-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 14BA; TAX LOTS: 500, 600, 601, 700, 800, 900 and 1000
The applicant and their representatives were at the meeting to discuss the project. Mike Faught, City of Ashland Public Works Director, was also in attendance to explain the City’s role in the application (constructing a new street). Initially, Commissioners were concerned about destroying the existing habitat for wildlife that the trees are an integral part of. Commissioners were also concerned about storm water runoff because of the significant number of trees being removed. The Commissioners were aware that landscape trees would be required when the lots are eventually developed. However, they expressed concern about big trees being removed and then mitigated with small DBH trees that potentially will not survive. At the end of the discussion, Chair Trunnell motioned to approve the plans as submitted and encouraged the City to ensure mitigation and proper care of future trees; the motion passed unanimously.    
As a follow up from the June meeting, the Commissioners discussed problems with the Street Tree Guide and requested staff schedule a study session to address the issues further and identify any remedies. Penalties and other enforcement routes were also discussed and requested to be put on the agenda for the study session. The Commissioners also stated they want to talk about more effective tree protection fencing. Lastly, the Commissioners inquired if the City is doing any outreach to the community on watering trees during drought conditions. Staff will coordinate with Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Specialist, in order to provide an update.
Elections of officers were delayed until next month to include more Commissioners in the decision process.
Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Next meeting:  August 6, 2015


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