Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

October 6, 2015
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 8:40 p.m.  in the Council Chambers Civic Center.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh were present.
Mayor read statement in honor of those that died in the shooting at Umqua Community College.
Mayor noted that there is a vacancy on the Forest Lands Commission.
The minutes of the Study Session of September 14, 2015 and Business Meeting of September 15, 2015 were approved as amended with the following: page 9 of 10, 5th paragraph, 2nd sentence “She had concern regarding the “minor” amendment.  “Minor” should be “major.” In addition, City Recorder will review the two motions at the bottom of page 9 for accuracy.  If incorrect, they will be corrected.
Mayor’s proclamation of October as Inclusion and Equity Month was read aloud.
Tarra Light/2234 Siskiyou Blvd #G62/Spoke regarding emergency planning and she suggested that Community Town Hall meetings be established.  These meetings could be held in central locations for when a crisis occurs. She provided an example of what a panel would consist of which would provide opportunity to citizens to participate.
Nancy Nelson/149 Clear Creek Drive #202/Spoke regarding the proposed art piece “Gather” and how she felt that a metallic piece should not be at this site.  She had concern with this artwork located on the eastern side of the city as she felt it should be on the western side of the city.  She felt it was counter to principals of our community and we should respect and honor Asian culture.  An artwork at this site should be trees or floral of nature with lights for an eastern entrance into our city.
Shannon Downey/645 Oak Street/Offered her thanks to the Mayor and council for the future cleanup of the railroad property.  She does believe that there will be traffic safety issue associated with use of Oak Street for removal of the soil and are options for this dilemma that CH2MHill could consider.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral #B/Voiced his concern with geology and specific meteorology, land use planning and the need for a comprehensive plan.  He commented on House Bills passed in 1973.
Linda Peterson Adams/642 Oak Street/Voiced her appreciation to the Mayor and council on issues that directly affect citizens and the participation of those that get involved in the political process. She noted that volunteers would be picking up food bags for the Food Bank.
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Announced that Southern Oregon Climate Now (SOCAN) would be holding their climate summit this next Tuesday and Wednesday (location not noted). In Ashland, there will be a kick-off meeting at noon on Sunday at the Ashland Armory conducted by a committee of SOCAN. Further information can be found at
Alice Mallory/438 Taylor/Requested that the council reconsider placement of the art piece “Gather” as she did not feel it was the right venue.  She stated that a metallic piece of this size would be better placed elsewhere and suggested the center of town near city offices. She noted the various gateways to the city.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to add to the agenda a discussion on review by the Historic Commission for the proposed “Gather” art piece. Roll Call Vote: Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
1.   Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Appointment of Thomas Buechele to the Housing and Human Services Commission
3.   Liquor license application for Elisa Boulton dba Kokua Tiki Bar & Grill
4.   Endorsement of the Monster Dash for hanging a banner
5.   Approval of a special procurement for body cameras and data storage service
6.   Partial reconveyance of Trust Deed on Verde Village properties
7.   Endorsement of the SOCAN Climate Summit – Our Critical Climate
Councilor Rosenthal/Morris m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1.   Continuation of the first reading of ordinances titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to add a Normal Neighborhood plan designation to Chapter II [Introduction and Definitions], add the Normal Neighborhood land categories to Chapter IV [Housing Element], change the Comprehensive Plan map designation for approximately 94 acres of land within the City of Ashland urban growth boundary from single family residential and suburban residential to the Normal Neighborhood plan designation, and adopt the Normal Neighborhood Plan Framework as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan”
City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided the point at which the council was to begin for the continuation of the first reading of ordinance.
Councilor Marsh/Morris m/s to approve the First Reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to add a Normal Neighborhood Plan designation to Chapter 11 (Introduction and Definitions), Add the Normal Neighborhood Land  Categories to Chapter IV (Housing Element), Change the Comprehensive Plan Map Designation for Approximately 94 Acres of Land within the City of Ashland Urban Growth Boundary from  Single Family Residential and Suburban Residential to the Normal Neighborhood Plan Designation, and Adopt the Normal Neighborhood Plan Framework as a Support Document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan.” 
Motion amended and included in above main motion the following: to change the property zoned as NN 1-3.5C with the exception of the northern most block to NN 1-3.5.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend that within the Comprehensive Plan on page 28 under Alleys, second paragraph, to eliminate the sentence “The narrow street section of rear lances reduces the extent of impervious surfaces in the Normal Neighborhood and supports wetland and stream health.” In addition, on page 8, under Pedestrian-Oriented Clustered Residential Units to include NN-1-5 zoning classification that allows such units.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh explained that these were recommendations made by the Planning Commission.
ROLL CALL VOTE: Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin motion to amend that changes within graph on page 12 that NN-1-3.5 and NN-1-3.5-C ends at Attached Residential Unit, NN-1-3.5 is extended to Neighborhood Business and Services and to include Cottage Housing in NN-1.35 and NN-1-3.5-C.  Motion died due to lack of second.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend that the Normal Neighborhood Plan be subject to review after construction of 150 units or ten-years, whichever comes first, by the city council.
  • Councilor Marsh explained that due to comments made by public that there were many “what ifs” in this large plan and that this would allow for a built-in review on current issues and an opportunity to made adjustments if necessary.  Councilor Lemhouse supports a mandatory pause and review due to the concerns in the community that this plan would be an automatic implementation without any review process that takes into consideration changes in the environment, community, etc. He felt that this is a good trend to use in all city plans. Councilor Voisin did not support the motion as she felt that the “pause” should happen now not ten years later and that there enough current concerns to support it being reviewed now. Councilor Marsh asked that staff take this concept and bring back formal language that supports this motion at second reading and anything else that council should consider within this conception requirement. Councilor Morris explained his mixed feelings on the proposed amendment.  That this included, if the plan developed into real low density, the question of would more units be added.  He stated that most city plans are considered “live documents” and change over time. He provided several examples and stated that this amendment is not necessary. Councilor Seffinger supported the amendment because this adds security to the future in the case of changes and supports the concerns raised by individuals.  Councilor Rosenthal voiced his appreciation on the spirit of the motion as it addresses the sensitivity and complexity of the plan but believes that there will be many opportunities to revisit the plan in the future and that a fixed date is not necessary.
Roll Call Vote:  Seffinger, Marsh and Lemhouse, YES; Voisin, Rosenthal and Morris, NO; Mayor, YES. Mayor explained his vote as this would bring back specific proposals. Motion approved 4-3.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to amend that requires improvements made to E Main Street to Clay street prior to or simultaneously with any construction or development that borders E Main Street.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse acknowledged discussion that improvements to E Main Street could get ahead of any development in this area.  Councilor Rosenthal stated that any improvements to E Main Street were critical for this plan to move forward and that this would be a major consideration for any development anyway and this may not be necessary as a requirement. Councilor Marsh stated that this plan does have requirements for approval and asked for clarification from staff.
Clarification was made that this motion applies to the main motion.
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained that the current requirement for improvement to E Main Street could be found on page 30 of the proposed plan under Advance Financing and Phasing of Public Improvements.  This language was inserted on the recommendation of the Transportation Commission and does allow for phased improvements. Public Works Director Mike Faught confirmed that they had consulted with a Traffic Engineer that provides for requirements and language was included in the plan that specifically allows for review of impact when development occurs
Councilor Lemhouse requested assurance that the language in the plan, regardless of the complexity and cost, provide that improvements bordering E Main Street would be done at the time, prior to, or simultaneously on the completion of the development.  Mr. Goldman stated that the language was written with the intent that the pedestrian and bike paths would be done in phase one.  Staff agreed to bring back to second reading, language in this section that clearly states that pedestrian and bicycle improvements would be done, from Walker Street to Clay Street, when there are any improvements to E Main Street.  This language would also include that adding 250 feet to an intersection would be done.
Councilor Voisin motion to amend amendment to on page 30 under Advance Financing and Phasing of Public improvements, second paragraph, to add “However, any development that adds residences on five acres or more should trigger the complete improvement on E Main Street from Clay Street to Walker Avenue. Motion died due to lack of second.
Continued discussion on Councilor Lemhouse amendment:
It was clarified that the motion should have stated “from Walker Avenue to Clay Street.”
Roll Call Vote on amendment: Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal and Lemhouse, YES; Morris, NO. Motion approved 5-1.
Public Works Director provided further clarification on Advance Financing and guarantee that the money would come back to the city. The Advance Financing if a funding tool option and is important for larger developments where there is major infrastructure involved.  This tool gives either the developer or the city an opportunity to fund the project and get money back when completed. Mr. Faught explained that this option is similar to a Local Improvement District but that the payment of the developer’s share of the assessment comes at the beginning of the project rather than at the end of the project.  He stated that there are options in how to secure financing either through the developer or through the city.  There is a risk involved is in the financing as payment could be spread out over ten to twenty years and standard loan financing might be difficult to obtain as there is always the question of whether the development occurs or not. He noted that another option could be through a Developer’s Agreement.  The city would have more options in regards to payment of loan through this agreement that allows for less risk to the city.
Mr. Goldman clarified that the plan does not obligate the city into entering into any specific agreement.  That if the developer was to request for Advance Financing, it would come before the council for a public hearing and council approval on the development of the District.
Councilor Voisin her concern that the taxpayers would be left with the bill and she would need more information or a study session before moving forward on this.  She does not understand the role of the developer.  Mr. Faught explained that these are just options and the role of those that participate can be set by the council when the District is formed.
City Attorney Dave Lohman provided example of the recent Verde Village Developer Agreement.
Councilor Lemhouse began to state a motion but it was determined it did not relate to the current ordinance under discussion.
Councilor Voisin motion to amend that on the map of page 5 Housing and Land Use,  Commercial/Retail, to match like mixed to like, specifically along Normal Avenue in NN-1-5 and to continue this principal throughout the map. Motion denied due to lack of second.
Roll Call Vote on amended main motion for first reading and place on agenda for second reading: Seffinger, Marsh, Rosenthal, Lemhouse and Morris, YES; Voisin, NO. Motion approved 5-1.
Councilor Marsh/Morris m/s to approve first reading of “An ordinance amending the Street Dedication map, Planned Intersection and Roadway Improvement map, and the Planned Bikeway Network map of the Ashland Transportation System plan for the Normal Neighborhood plan area and amending street design standards within the Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 18.4.6 to add a new shared street classification.
DISCUSSION: Staff confirmed that the motion did not include the recommendation by the Planning Commission to broaden the definition of a shared. Mr. Goldman explained that this would eliminate the application that only happens under the circumstance when there is a physical restraint instead of being allowed under many more circumstances.
Councilor Marsh requested that the motion also include Planning Commission recommendation: Broaden the Shared Street description to allow this new street type to be applied in areas other than those that are physically constrained. “Provides access to residential uses in an area in which right-of-way is constrained by natural features, topography or historically significant structures. The Shared streets may additionally be used in circumstances where a slower speed street, collectively shared by pedestrians, bicycles, and autos, is functional and preferred design alternative. The design of the street should emphasize a slower speed environment and provide clear physical and visual indications the space is shared across modes.” In addition, to place on agenda for second reading.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh explained that a Street Plan makes sense and that laying out a street and trail plan is the most important part of a master plan.  She understands that many parts of the street plan will not be built out for many years, but the piece of the plan that moves through the undeveloped land is critical as it puts into place a plan for when and if a development occurs. Councilor Morris spoke on the importance of connectivity, especially from East to West.  He supports approval of the change of definition at this time rather than waiting until the Normal Street plan is approved or when development begins as this should be citywide.
Roll Call Vote: Morris, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Marsh and Seffinger, YES; Voisin, NO. Motion approved 5-1.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading of ordinance “An ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code creating a new Chapter 18.3.4 Normal Neighborhood District, amending Chapter to add a Normal Neighborhood zoning classification, and amending Chapter to add a Normal Neighborhood Special District.” And adding the amendment  as recommended by Planning Commission to add new section A (5) Conformance with Open Space Network Plan: New developments must provide open space consistent with the design concepts within the Greenway and Open Space chapter of the Normal Neighborhood Plan Framework and in conformance with the Normal Neighborhood Plan Open Space Network Map. The open space network will be designed to support the neighborhood’s distinctive character and provide passive recreational opportunities where people can connect with nature, where water resources are protected, and where riparian corridors and wetlands are preserved and enhanced. a) The application demonstrates that equal or better protection for identified resources will be ensured through restoration, enhancement, and mitigation measures. b) The application demonstrates that connections between open spaces are created and maintained providing for an interlinked system of greenways. c) The application demonstrates that open spaces function to provide habitat for wildlife, promote environmental quality by absorbing, storing, and releasing stormwater, and protect future development from flood hazards. d) The application demonstrates that scenic views considered important to the community are protected, and community character and quality of life are preserved by buffering areas of development from one another.
  • Councilor Voisin stated that the Planning Commission recommendation was important to the plan.
Councilor Voisin motion to amend on page 10 to delete section Advance Financing District (Reserved). Motion denied due to lack of second.
Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to amend on page 5, in graph under Table Land Use Descriptions, that a requirement be made that any commercial development be subject to a conditional use permit.
Councilor Lemhouse clarified that Home Occupation category is included in his motion as subject to a conditional use permit.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse understands that mixed use is good in some areas but in this case, mixed use is a compromise to the residents who voiced fear in the disruption of commercial businesses when there is no way to know what these businesses would be and how they would impact the area. He felt that it was especially true in NN-1-3.5-C area and provided examples.  Councilor Voisin stated that it was important for the residents to be aware of the types of businesses that would be established in their neighborhood.
Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to amend amendment that Home Occupation remain as a Permit.
  • Councilor Voisin felt it was important that Home Occupation remain as a permit. Councilor Lemhouse stated that this was about compromise and finding the best framework.  Mr. Goldman clarified for council that Home Occupation is already permitted use outright throughout the city in residential zones and that there are established standard requirements in place.  The cost difference between permitted and conditional use permit for Home Occupation would be significant.
Roll Call Vote: Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse and Morris, YES. Motion approved.
Continued discussion on amended amendment:
Mr. Goldman clarified for staff that the use of a conditional use permit (CUP) as proposed would require the applicant to address criteria for a CUP along with the application for site review and approval before the Planning Commission.  It would place a higher burden of proof on the applicant to demonstrate that their use is of no greater impact than the target use of the zone. Mr. Goldman explained that in the limitations of a CUP in NN-1-3.5-C, it would be at the higher level of the application process.  He did agree that arguments could be made that in connection with residential development, neighbors could argue that it would have a greater adverse material effect on their property. This would be a decision point for the public hearing body.
Mr. Goldman clarified that Day Care Center defines under a broader terms such as Groups Homes that are outright permitted in single family homes that are state permitted.  A Day Care Center would not qualify under the definition of Home Occupation permit.  He further explained that there is no minimum density but upon an annexation, this area would have to meet the minimum density requirement of 90% of the base density.  Councilor Morris pointed out that the minimum density it would be self-limiting for what could be built in this area.
Councilor Lemhouse explained that the intention of the motion was to allow for residences to more aware and involved in what was being proposed in their neighborhood.  Councilor Seffinger voiced her concern with the ability for Day Care Centers to operate.  Councilor Marsh stated that there are certain criteria with a CUP and that criteria of “no more intensive use than the target base” will be a hard finding to make in a neighborhood use.  Councilor Voisin stated that there needs to be this type of oversight for businesses coming into residential zones.
Councilor Marsh/Morris m/s to call for the question. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on amended amendment: Voisin and Lemhouse, YES; Morris, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Voisin motion to delete section C (2) (c). Motion was withdrawn.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend motion to change in section C (3) (3) Type I procedure to Type II procedure.  Correction – motion should read: Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to amend motion to change in section C. Amendments (3) Minor Amendment – Type I Procedure to Type II Procedure.   DISCUSSION: Marsh noted that concerns raised about changes to wetlands open space that could happen after a property has been annexed.  Staff has indicated that if an application were received it would be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. Changing this from Type I procedure to Type II procedure guarantees that it will be reviewed by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Goldman explained that if an owner of property that has been annexed and proposed a modification to the sub-division it would be subject to the same review process as Type II procedure. 
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse motion to call for the question. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on the amendment: Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES; Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse motion to call for the question on the main amended motion. Roll Call Vote: Seffinger, YES; Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Rosenthal and Marsh, NO. Motion failed 1-5.
Councilor Morris stated that he could not support the main motion at this point as he would rather have the motion separated out from the added amendment that included the recommendation by the Planning Commission to add a new section A(5).
Councilor Morris/Marsh m/s to separate the main amended motion that included the recommendation by the Planning to Commission to add a new section A (5).
DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris stated that the open space network plan and the Type II procedure will make it too difficult for multiple parties, depending on who develops first, that there would be more dictated on what happens to the property than should be.
Roll Call Vote: Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Marsh, YES; Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Discussion on the separated main motion will continue at the October 20 council meeting.
  1. A discussion on review by the Historic Commission for the proposed “Gather” art piece.” as added to agenda by motion.                                                                                      
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
___________________________________              _______________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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