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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, September 03, 2015

September 3, 2015
CALL TO ORDER – Vice-Chair Chris John called the meeting of the Ashland Tree Commission to order at 6:00 p.m. on September 3, 2015, in the Siskiyou Room located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland Oregon.
Commissioners Council Liaison
Ken Schmidt Carol Voisin
Gregg Trunnell (absent) Staff
Casey Roland Zechariah Heck, Assistant Planner
Maureen Battistella Pete Baughman, Parks Liaison
Russell Neff  
Christopher John  
Mike Oxendine  
Russ/Roland m/s to approve the August 6, 2015 regular meeting minutes.  The motion passed unanimously. 
City Council Liaison – Councilor Voisin updated the Tree Commission on the following…
  • The Downtown Beautification Project has been postponed (allows Tree Commission another opportunity to review plans during October 8, 2015 meeting).
  • Climate and Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee formed to help navigate process of creating the plan.
  • There are upcoming City Council meetings to discuss whether to have the City Recorder position change from being an elected position to one that is appointed and potential changes to the Fire Department.   
  • The Normal Ave plan has been reviewed and discussed by City Council and has had a lot of public testimony.
Parks & Recreation Liaison – There was a continued discussion on anthracnose, a foliar fungal disease, affecting urban trees throughout the City. It was suggested to gather leaves of affected trees and burn to increase chance of disease eradication. Anthracnose attacks leaves and is species specific.
Community Development Liaison – Heck gave the new commissioners, Oxendine and Battistella, a copy of the Recommended Street Tree Guide. The Tree of the Year program was also announced and briefly discussed. Tree of the Year forms were passed around to all Commissioners for them to hand out. Two members of the Conservation Division Staff were introduced, Julie Smitherman and Carolyne Augsburger. The Commissioners and Staff had a brief discussion on the tree watering brochure. 

Kristina Lefever from the Bee City USA Commission, Project Pollinator and Advocates for Healthy Landscapes spoke to the Commission about glyphosate.
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-01370                     
SUBJECT PROPERTY:      210-220 East Hersey St.
OWNER:                              The Bernard Family Trust
APPLICANT:                       Adroit Construction, as agent for the owners
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Site Design Review approval to construct a 24,621 square foot addition to the existing 39,962 square foot Darex building located at 210-220 East Hersey Street.  Also included is a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove two trees, a six-inch diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) Maple tree and a six-inch d.b.h. Pear tree, and for a Variance to allow a new driveway on Clear Creek Drive that is 48 feet from the driveway to the west while a separation of 75 feet is typically required on a commercial neighborhood collector street.     
Commissioners Roland/Schmidt m/s to recommend approval of the plans as submitted with the proposed conditions by Staff. This recommendation was unanimously supported.  Commissioner Roland noted an arborist report should be necessary and specifically speak to the ability of the Birch trees to withstand construction impacts. 
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2015-01496                     
SUBJECT PROPERTY:      35 South Second Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:        MPM Investments
AGENT:                               Kistler, Small & White, Architects
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Conditional Use Permit and Site Design Review approvals to allow 3,051 square feet of additions including a new kitchen, new bar, laundry room, two new second floor offices and an accessible lift, and the conversion of the existing kitchen into bussing and storage areas for the Winchester Inn located at 35 S. Second St.  Also included are requests for Tree Removal Permits to remove two trees: a six-inch diameter Plum tree located within the footprint of the proposed new bar, and an eight-inch diameter Birch tree within the footprint of the addition at the rear of the main house; and Exception to the Street Standards to retain the existing curbside sidewalks along the perimeter of the property.     
Commissioners Oxendine/Neff m/s to recommend approval of the plans submitted with the following conditions:
  • That all proposed conditions by Staff be included in approval;
  • That protection from the sun and wildlife is required for the mitigation trees;
  • That the proposed Sycamore, London Planes and River Birch are substituted with a more suitable tree for the site.
Downtown Beautification Project letter – Though Chair Trunnell was absent, he requested the Commission approve of a letter he drafted regarding the Downtown Beautification Project. The objective of the letter was to request that the City Council provide the Tree Commission another opportunity to review the project proposals. The letter was reviewed and edited by Commissioners and then unanimously supported to send to City Council via Staff.
Councilor Voisin spoke to this project and the process so far. A member of the public, Katherine Thalden, was asked to speak at the request of Councilor Voisin. Ms. Thalden is a landscape architect and was apparently asked by the City Council to review and comment on the plans for the Downtown Beautification Project.    
Growler Station – Commissioner Roland noted that the trees at the in-construction Growler Station are not being protected. Using the Growler Station trees as an example, Roland recommended that all planning action decisions include a requirement that all mitigation trees have protection from the sun and wildlife in addition to protection from construction impacts.
Tree Canopy Analysis – Commissioner Neff brought a magazine article on tree canopy analysis for cities. There was a brief discussion on the idea of an urban tree canopy analysis for Ashland. Councilor Voisin recommended the Commission research grant opportunities and begin a discussion with the City Council and Parks Commission.  
OSU Extension Class - Commissioner Battistella stated that she had been in contact with Max Bennett and that he has said he can do a class in Ashland. Staff explained to the Commission the rules and limitations of holding such a class (public meeting requirements, staff time, notice to the public, etc.). Noting these limitations, Commissioner Oxendine suggested that it is something Southern Oregon University could do.
Soil Moisture Probe – A brief discussion was held on soil moisture probes and the logistics of renting them out to the public.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Next Meeting:  October 8, 2015

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