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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 05, 2016

May 5, 2016
Acting Chair John called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way.

Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Mike Oxendine Carol Voisin
Christopher John  
Russell Neff  
Maureen Battistella Parks Liaison
  Peter Baughman
Commissioners Absent: Staff Present
Derek Severson,
Associate Planner
Casey Roland Cory Darrow,
Assistant Planner
Oxendine/Russell m/s to approve the April 7, 2016 meeting minutes.   Voice vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed. 
Council – Voisin reported that the Council has been focusing on downtown behavior issues; obstructing sidewalks and passageways, solicitation of money and smoking.  Voisin acknowledged that the employee union negotiations are complete.  The sewer issue at the Shafer house located on Morton Street is still being worked on and remains confidential at this time.  The fire Chief has requested to hire three additional firefighters.  $315,000 has been approved for updating the Water Master Plan.
Parks Department - Baughman reported that the Parks Department will be removing hazard trees in the Triangle Park, the Blue Bird Park and Lithia Park.  Baughman announced the Siskiyou De Mayo, A World Music Festival, will be held on May 14, 2016 at the Lithia Park Butler Bank Shell.
Staff - Severson reported that the Council adopted the Airport Code update which included a change relevant to the tree removal.  The Public Works Department will be able to remove trees when they are mandated by the FAA for safety reasons.  The Mayor has done reappointments and we do have some new people interested in the Commission stated Severson.  He suggested that the Commissioners stop and take a look at the planter area outside of Gateway Realty.  The redesign of it was part of the downtown beautification project.
Joyce Van Ann, 386 N Laurel spoke.  Ms. VanAnn acknowledged that at a previous Tree Commission meeting Commissioner Roland discussed a tool that you shove into the ground to check for water moisture to see if the trees are being irrigated well.  The cost of the tool is about eighty dollars.  Ms. VanAnn suggested that the City purchase one of the tools and loan them out to local citizens.  In the past the City provided free of charge a similar item to residences to check the moisture in their yards.
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  852 Cypress Point Loop
OWNER/ APPLICANT:  Thomas and Carolyn Kennedy                         
DESCRIPTION:  The Planning Division has received a request for a permit to remove an approximately 75’ Black Oak tree from the building envelope to allow for the development of a single-family residence at the aforementioned address. The removal will be mitigated by planting three new trees at the rear of the property. Issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy is conditioned upon successful completion and inspection of mitigation efforts. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-10 ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 3CB; TAX LOT: 7300.
Severson presented the staff report.  After a discussion the Commissioners made the following recommendations.
Would like the applicant to explore other options in order to retain both trees.  Provide a better protection zone around the tree that is designated to be saved.  Better protection zone around tree number two.
Oxendine/John m/s to deny the planning application until they receive better information and more thorough plans.  Voice Vote; Maureen abstained, John, Neff, Oxendine approved, motion passed.
PLANNING ACTION #:     2016-00614                                        
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     843 Hillview Drive                
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Jason & Kelly Eaton
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Land Partition to create two lots for the property located at 843 Hillview Drive.  The request also includes Tree Removal Permit to remove two clusters of Birch trees which are greater than 18-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.).COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 15AC; TAX LOT #: 400.
Severson presented the staff report.
Len Eaton, 841 Beswick read a statement – See exhibit A
Ron Steffani, 872 Hillview spoke.  Though Mr. Steffani acknowledged he is not an arborist he believes that Hillview Street is unique because of the trees.  They define the character of the neighborhood.
Keith Kleinedler, 873 Hillview introduced himself.  Mr. Kleinedler is a long time Ashland resident who knew the previous owner and has been on the subject property a lot.  Mr. Kleinedler does not believe the trees are Paper Birch but Euro White Birch.  He said all the birches are large and believe they may have been planted by Chet Corey.  He is skeptical of borer without an arborist report.  Mr. Kleinedler also made the comment that with Talent Irrigation District available having a drought is less of a concern.  He would like to see an arborist report and serious consideration of retention.
After a discussion the following recommendations were made.
Oxendine/Battistella m/s to deny the request with the recommendation that they supply an arborist report with a mitigation plan for any removal they are going to recommend and provide appropriate tree protection outlined in the arborist report for any trees they are proposing to retain.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed.
PLANNING ACTION #:     2016-00209                                        
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     25 North Main Street             
OWNERS:                             Ashland Holdings, LLC                                            
APPLICANT:                       Allan Sandler
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Site Design Review approval for a balcony addition for the property located at 25 North Main Street.  The application includes a request for two Exceptions to the Site Development and Design Standards: 1) to allow a balcony on the front of the building extending into the North Main Street right-of-way where the Downtown Design Standards in AMC prohibit projecting balconies in a street facing elevation; and 2) to allow an addition on a primary façade or elevation that is visually prominent from a public right-of-way or that obscures character defining features where the Historic District Design Standards in AMC direct that such additions are to be avoided.  The application also proposes to remove and replace the two street trees in front of the building.   
Severson presented the staff report.
Applicant Alan Sandler spoke.  Mr. Sandler explained why he needed to remove the trees but is willing to replace with Commission supported species of a larger size.  Mr. Sandler is also willing to mitigate on the Plaza.
Jim Falkenstein, 541 Lakota Way.  Mr. Falkenstein likes the trees and said perhaps Sandler may not need to remove them depending what’s encountered. 
After a discussion the following motion was made.
Oxensine/Neff m/s that the two existing street trees be retained and protected, with an arborist on site to monitor their protection during construction.  If the arborist ultimately determines that the construction impacts necessitate their removal, the Commission is supportive of their removal and replacement (not necessarily in the same locations) provided that adequate soil volume and irrigation are provided and that the replacement tree selections are approved by the Tree Commission based on their placement, available soil volume and avoiding canopy conflicts with the projecting balcony.    Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed
PLANNING ACTION #:     2016-00230                                        
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     188 Garfield Street                
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Rivergate Assembly of God Church of Ashland
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Site Design Review and Conditional Use Permit approval to construct a new church for the property located at 188 Garfield Street.  The application involves demolition of the existing Rivergate Assembly of God church building and the construction of a new approximately 4,978 square foot/100-seat church building near the corner of Garfield and Iowa Streets.  The application also involves:  a Solar Setback Exception to allow the proposed church to cast a greater shadow on the lot to its north (also under church ownership) than would be cast by a six-foot fence on the north property line; an Exception to Street Standards to retain the existing curbside sidewalk and street trees; a Tree Removal Permit to remove one tree greater than six-inches in diameter at breast height, and a Property Line Adjustment.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: High Density Multi-Family Residential; ZONING:  R-3; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10CB; TAX LOTS: 2100, 2101.
Severson gave his staff report.
Architect Ray Kistler, 66 Water Street was present to represent the applicant.  Mr. Kistler confirmed that the Street trees are really nice and appear to be in great shape so they would like to keep them.  The tree close to the building might not survive the construction but they can watch it.  Because they do not meet the driveway width on Iowas Street it could impact tree #2. 
Rick Harris spoke.  Mr. Harris explained that the applicant looked at two other configurations of moving the driveway.  Their goal is to make the least amount of impact on the trees.
Tree Commission was supportive of the request as submitted both in terms of the Tree Removal Permit request and the Exception to preserve existing street trees.  The Tree Commission expressed appreciation for the applicants’ efforts to preserve and protect trees, and suggested that the lone removal requested be mitigated with the planting of a replacement tree in the playground area.  The Commission specifically recommended a Zelkova as an appropriate selection, but said that any tree from the Recommended Street Tree List would be appropriate with the exception of Raywood Ash. 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2016-00625                                             
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     759 South Mountain Avenue
APPLICANTS:                     Heartwood Tree Service
OWNERS:                             Gunnar L. Nashlund and Stephanie L. Sceva
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove two Ponderosa Pine trees from the property located at 759 South Mountain Avenue.  The trees were previously identified to be preserved and protected as part of the Mountain Pines Subdivision (PA #2004-00105) but have now been determined to be dying from pine beetle infestation by the applicant’s tree care professional.   
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-10; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 16AD; TAX LOT: #3403. 
Severson presented the staff report.
The Ashland Tree Commission reviewed this request at their regular meeting on May 5, 2016. The Commission expressed concern with the hazard created, and the potential for beetles to spread killing other trees and adding to fire danger in the area and suggested that it would likely be best to simply remove the second tree.  The Commission recommended approval of the request, and as in past requests suggested that there be careful irrigation of remaining trees and mitigation trees to at least a depth of 18-inches, that the trees be well-mulched, and that no cuts be made to trees on the property for the immediate future to avoid the spread of the beetle infestation.  The Commission also recommends that given the hillside context, that stumps not be deeply ground.  In terms of required mitigation plantings, in these situations the Tree Commission recommends that the replacement trees used for mitigation should not be Ponderosa Pines, and would instead recommend incense cedar or some type of hardwood specimen.
Battistella/John m/s to approve the action.   Voice vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed. 
Earth Day 2016 – The Commissioners agreed that Earth Day was very successful. There was a great turn out and the kids especially seemed to have a good time. 
James Urban’s Visit – The Commissioners enjoyed the seminar that James Urban recently put on.  They appreciated his knowledge and resources.  Mr. Urban has a great website with all his resources. 
The meeting was adjourned 8:24 pm and it was noted that the next regular meeting of the Tree Commission would be on June 9, 2016, not June 2nd as noted in the agenda.

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