Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting

Monday, October 26, 2015

City of Ashland
October 26, 2015


Present:   Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Miller, Shaw; Director Black; Superintendents Dickens and Dials; Administrative Supervisor Dyssegard; Assistant Manuel

Absent:    City Council Liaison, Mayor Stromberg

Chair Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.


  •   Special Meeting - September 8, 2015
Motion:  Shaw moved to approve the Minutes for September 8, 2015 as presented. Miller seconded.
                                                                        Gardiner, Lewis, Miller, Shaw: Yes
                                                                        Landt: Abstained           
  •   Study Session - September 21, 2015
Motion:  Landt moved to approve the Minutes as amended. Miller seconded.
                                                                        All yes.
  • Regular Meeting – September 28, 2015
Motion: Shaw moved to approve the Minutes for September 28, 2015. Miller seconded.
Landt stated that there were some corrections to the Minutes for September 28, 2015.  Black noted that the Minutes as amended were more accurate. Corrections were as follows: 
1.       Black reiterated that the Master Plan detailed components of the plan. The cost estimate for the Splash Pad was based on a site plan while cost estimates for other uses were best estimates. The current proposed budget was $821,058. Black indicated that the additional agreed-upon projects would increase the project budget by approximately $300,000.

Should be:
Black reiterated that the Master Plan detailed components of the plan. The cost estimate for the Splash Pad was based on a site plan while cost estimates for other uses were best estimates. The current proposed budget was $821,058 including the approximately $300,000 of additional agreed-upon projects.
2.       Payments due for the Calle Guanajuato project were set at $45,000 annually, retiring in 2028. $85,000 would be the estimated annual payment for Garfield Park beginning in 2017 and ending in 2038.              

Should be
Payments due for the Calle Guanajuato project were set at $45,000 annually, retiring in 2028. $85,000 would be the estimated annual payment for Garfield Park beginning in 2017 and ending in 2030.    

Motion: Shaw moved to approve the Minutes for September 28, 2015 as amended. Miller seconded.
                                                                        All yes.
There was none.
Added to New Business was appointment of a new member to the Bee City USA Subcommittee. Black requested that Staff Reports include discussion of a request initiated by a member of the Pollinator Project. The Irrigation presentation would be deleted from this Agenda and re-scheduled.  
There was none.
  • Animals in the Park
Dickens displayed a copy of signage that is currently displayed at the entrance of Lithia Park. He noted that the sign was somewhat ambiguous, causing people to question the definition of the word “animals.”  Dickens explained that residents were occasionally unsure whether the phrase referred to dogs only or if the prohibition applied to other types of animals as well. 
Dickens indicated that the corrections proposed would reduce confusion and assist law enforcement personnel in identifying violations of the Parks Ordinance. Dickens highlighted complaints received by City of Ashland police that there were animals such as goats or sheep on leash in the Park. The animals had caused damage by defoliating the Park’s shrubbery and animal feces had been found defacing the Park’s restrooms.       
Dickens suggested that the remedy would be to alter the language in the Parks Ordinance from “no animals” to no “domestic animals” permitted in Ashland parks generally, and in Lithia Park, specifically. 

He explained that domestic animals included dogs, household pets and farm animals. The Ordinance would be amended to read,” Domestic animals, including but not limited to house pets, and farm animals, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted.” Dickens stated that once the amendment was approved by the Commission, the City Attorney would review the changes to ensure that there were no conflicts with State or Federal guidelines. Once vetted, the City Attorney would forward the amended Ordinance to the Ashland City Council for a first and second reading and final approval. 
In response to a question by Landt, Dickens noted that the Ashland Police had initially requested the change.
Dickens also proposed to clarify references within the Ordinance referring to dogs. The Ordinance would read as follows:
“Domestic Animals including but not limited to house pets and farm animals with the exception of service animals are not permitted under any condition except as provided in Section 9.16.30; and except that the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission may designate certain defined areas within such parks or dog parks, where dogs may be allowed on leash. Service animal for purposes of this Chapter means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.”   
Discussion among Commissioners
Discussion focused on dogs: where they are permitted, where they are not permitted and identified areas where dogs are allowed on-leash or off-leash. North Mountain Park [near the Nature Center and natural areas] and Lithia Park were named as two parks where dogs are not allowed. The City has one dog park where dogs are permitted off-leash [off Nevada Street] and another proposed but as-yet undeveloped off-leash dog park [off lower Clay Street].
Landt proposed changes to the language as follows:
  • Change the Ordinance title from “Animals” to “Domestic Animals”
  • Add “…but not limited to house pets, and farm animals…” 
  • Delete the last sentence of paragraph A, beginning with service animals
Landt also suggested deleting the definition of “service animals,” stating that the definition of service animals is described elsewhere in City of Ashland Codes and therefore would not be necessary in the Parks Ordinance. Black agreed with the caveat that City of Ashland police also agree that the definition is not essential to enforce the Parks Ordinance. After further discussion, Landt proposed a motion:       
Motion: Landt moved to approve changes to the Animal Ordinance by changing the title of the ordinance to “Domestic Animals,” by adding the prohibition of house pets and farm animals and by deleting the definition of service animals. Lewis seconded. 
Further Discussion
In response to a conversation about the allowances for dogs in designated areas, Landt added a friendly amendment to the motion.
Motion: Landt moved to approve the Animal Ordinance as amended:
  • Change the Ordinance title from “Animals” to “Domestic Animals”
  • Add “…but not limited to house pets, and farm animals…” 
  • Delete the last sentence of paragraph A, beginning with service animals  
  • Change dogs on leash to “…where dogs are allowed on or off leash…”
Lewis seconded.
                                                                        All Yes                                     
  • Appointment of Bee City USA Subcommittee Member
Dials noted the current vacancy in the Bee City USA Subcommittee. The position was posted and three applicants responded. After deliberation, the Subcommittee recommended Katherine Womack to fill the position.    
Motion:  Shaw moved to approve the appointment of Katherine Womack to the Bee City USA Subcommittee. Landt seconded.
                                                                        All yes
  • Golf Course Clubhouse Update
Dickens presented photos of the structural damage at the Oak Knoll Golf Course Clubhouse. He highlighted the areas outside the building where glulam materials had started to de-laminate due to water damage.  Bugs and birds were also attracted to the wet wood, causing further damage.
Dickens stated that a structural engineer would assess the damage and recommend a solution. It was unknown at this time whether the remedy would be to repair the glulams or whether more extensive work would be needed. Dickens stated that probing the wet areas revealed that the wood underneath the beams was solid, so there was no immediate safety issue. 
The possibility of building a roof to protect the beams from repeated damage was considered. Lewis stated that in his opinion, a new roof was a false economy and the design for the outdoor space was flawed. He said a structural evaluation was in order.                
Black commented that the repairs were listed on the Unfunded Projects list, but because the cart path project was coming in under budget, there were surplus funds available from the Golf Course budget. Black recommended using the surplus to pay for the Clubhouse damages but reminded the Commission that the cost of repairs was still unknown. He explained that approximately $120,000 had been budgeted for cart paths. Approximately one-third of the project was currently completed, allowing for estimated excess funds of $30,000. Black noted that he would keep the Golf Course Subcommittee informed about the details, including a more precise cost estimate for repairs once they were determined. Dickens stated that the structural engineering assessment was expected to be forthcoming and a contract for repairs would follow, a process that took approximately two weeks.             
Landt called for clarification of the funding for the cart paths. Black replied that small areas of the cart path had been previously completed. In addition, due to an accounting error, $12,000 had been miscoded and was now included in the cart path balance of funds. Currently, there was approximately $90,000 left for completion of the cart paths and Clubhouse repairs.     
Gardiner inquired about continuing the cart path project, noting that it had been assumed that there would be enough funding to complete the engineering. Dickens reported that the cart path was moving forward as planned. Black stated that there would be a surplus even if 100% of the cart path was completed.  
In reference to the structural damage, Landt asked whether the original architect and contractor should be consulted to determine the cause of the damage. There followed a detailed discussion reviewing the damage, examining the causes, and exploring possible solutions. Lewis advocated for working through the issues beginning with a recommendation by the engineer. He stated that it would be important to ask the engineer for a remedy. It was agreed that the engineer’s report would be presented as soon as is feasible. The report would answer questions about what failed and the options for repairs. Lewis stated that roofing the area would eliminate this issue, but he counseled against it. Landt agreed, stating that lower cost renovations would be preferable.   
  • Pollinator Project
Black stated that he had been approached by Cara Cruickshank, a member of the Pollinator Project of the Rogue Valley. Ms. Cruickshank was interested in making application for a grant sponsored by the Department of Agriculture that was designed to encourage alternative methods in place of pesticides or herbicides. The grant would provide funds for testing new methods of weed abatement in order to determine effectiveness.
Black highlighted the requirements for the grant, noting that to qualify for application Cruickshank would need collaborators who would assist by providing test areas. These areas would be of different sizes, and weed abatement applications would be contrasted with the abatement strategies of surrounding properties. 
After a brief question and answer discussion, there was an agreement by consensus to authorize the Director to write the letter of support and provide two or three appropriate sites for testing.  
  • Japanese Garden & Teahouse Celebration
Dickens announced that a celebration for the Japanese Garden and new teahouse was planned for November 18, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. In answer to questions by Landt, Dickens stated that it was anticipated that the gathering would be small so Winburn Way would not be closed for the event. He invited those present to attend.   
  • Construction at Ashland Creek Park
Landt asked for a brief report on construction in Ashland Creek Park. Dickens replied that tree plantings, drip irrigation and a small greenhouse were finishing touches for the Park, as well as construction to complete the final grade.  
  • Helman Tennis Courts
Black highlighted communications from the Ashland School District that indicated a willingness to restore the Helman Elementary School tennis courts. The District asked for a commitment to maintain the courts and a timeline for re-surfacing. Black stated that if APRC agreed, the tennis courts could be prioritized under Unfunded Projects at the top of the list. He estimated that resurfacing was expected to cost approximately $25,000, allowing the courts to be put back into use. He compared the cost of resurfacing the courts with building of new courts, implying that it would be money well spent.   
  • Daniel Meyer Pool
Gardiner noted that a detailed operating report was expected as a follow-up to the presentation by Recreation Manager Lonny Flora.   
Dials asked the pool report would be included in her annual fees and charges report. This report was typically presented in the spring: either late March or April of 2016. She stated that postponing the report would allow for more comprehensive feedback prior to budget talks.    
  • Miscellaneous

Shaw complimented staff on the lighting of the tennis courts at Hunter Park and Lithia Park.  He stated that the early evening lights were appreciated.  He also commended staff on the early opening of restrooms at the dog park, stating that people using the park were grateful for their 7:00 a.m. availability.     
Dials noted that a soft opening for the ice rink would be held on November 18, 2015, with the “First Frost” opening celebration slated for November 21, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The ice rink canopy would be installed the first week of November.         
Study Session:              November 16, 2015 @ The Grove 1195 E. Main Street 7:00 P.M.
Regular Meeting:           November 23, 2015 @ Council Chamber 1175 E. Main Street 7:00 P.M
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned into executive session at 7:55 p.m.
Executive Session for Legal Counsel Pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(h), ORS 192,660 (2)(e) and ORS 192.660 (1)(i)
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned out of executive session at 10:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Betsy Manuel, Assistant
The Minutes are not a verbatim record. The narrative has been condensed and paraphrased to reflect the discussions and decisions made. Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Study Sessions, Special Meetings and Regular Meetings are digitally recorded and available upon request. 

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