Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
Vice Chair Roger Pearce called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy J. Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Debbie Miller
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Melanie Mindlin   Greg Lemhouse, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced there is still time to sign up for the American Planning Association conference scheduled for Sept. 14-16. He also announced a public meeting has been scheduled to discuss the potential replacement or remodel of city hall. The meeting will be held Sept. 15 at Pioneer Hall.
Commissioner Dawkins provided an update on the Downtown Parking Management and Circulation Committee. He handed out the 20 strategies listed in the final plan and stated a public meeting has been scheduled for November 2.
Dawkins commented on a “sharrow” street design which would establish a clear path for bicycles and not require a reduction in travel lanes, and stated the committee voted unanimously to forward this concept to the city council. He noted the group has primarily focused on parking and a new committee may be formed next year to focus on the multimodal piece. 
A.  Approval of Minutes.
      1.  August 9, 2016 Regular Meeting.
      2.  August 23, 2016 Study Session.
Commissioners Miller/Brown m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed unanimously.
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Commented on zero net energy and autonomous (off-grid) homes, as well as energy efficiency program upgrades. He also recommended energy ratings and carbon tax figures be listed on home sale listings.
  1. Adoption of Findings for PA-2016-00309, 150 N. Pioneer.  
Community Development Director Bill Molnar clarified the findings are a summary of the commission’s recommendation and the city council will make the final decision on this action.
Commissioner Brown recommended Finding 2.2 be corrected to read “…that there is no public need or public benefit as described in the Ashland Comprehensive Plan that would be addressed in approving the request.”
Commissioners Brown/Dawkins m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2016-00309 as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed unanimously.
  1. Climate and Energy Action Plan – Plan Update.                                                            
Project Manager Adam Hanks and Conservation Commission Chair/Climate and Energy Action Plan Committee Vice Chair Roxane Beigel-Coryell addressed the commission and provided an update on the committee’s work to date. Mr. Hanks explained the committee’s scope of work is to: 1) develop a set of recommendations to protect people and resources from the ongoing impacts of climate change, 2) develop a plan that includes targets and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ashland, 3) targets and strategies will consider cost, feasibility, community acceptance and likelihood of success, with emphasis on voluntary measures for community action, and 4) the plan will include specific, measurable actions that citizens and local businesses can undertake upon adoption of the plan. Mr. Hanks noted the committee has been working with Cascadia Consulting Group to develop the plan and outlined the project timelines and meeting highlights. He provided an overview of greenhouse gas inventory and climate trends and analysis, and stated the preliminary plan goal is to be a carbon neutral community by 2047 using a sector based calculation methodology. Mr. Hanks provided an overview of the overarching trends that came out of the first public open house and explained the plan’s focus areas have been defined as: 1) building and energy, 2) urban form, land use, and transportation, 3) consumption and materials management, 4) health and social systems, and 5) natural systems. He stated the committee is currently creating proposed actions for each of these areas and requested the Planning Commission provide feedback so that it can be incorporated into the plan. Mr. Hanks stated there is a strong interest in having the goals adopted by ordinance to hold the community accountable and he invited the commission to the next open house scheduled for September 25.
Mr. Hanks and Ms. Beigel-Coryell were asked to clarify how the 30 year goal will be measured. Ms. Beigel-Coryell explained this is based on the community’s greenhouse gas inventory and 2015 is the base year. She clarified the sector based methodology includes local emissions from building energy uses, transportation energy use, methane emissions from waste, and fugitive leakage of refrigerants. It does not include the consumption piece which are the emissions generated outside the community from the production of goods, foods, and services consumed by Ashland residents.
Several commissioners expressed concern with adopting the plan elements by ordinance and the timing of the ordinance request which is identified as before the adoption of the plan by council.
Mr. Hanks handed out the draft strategies and actions for the commission’s review and stated one of the options is to enhance programs they already have, such as the energy conservation bonus, pedestrian places, and transit oriented development. He explained some of the actions will be regulatory and others will be voluntary. He added the suggested actions will be vetted and included in the final plan, and then they will funnel to the respective departments for implementing.  Mr. Hanks thanked the commission for providing feedback and stated he will be taking this to the other city commissions as well to make sure they are approaching this right and are considering all elements.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Submitted by,
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor


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