Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, October 03, 2016

Monday October 3, 2016
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin, and Lemhouse were present.   
Mayor Stromberg moved agenda item #4 after item #1 Public Input.
1.   Public Input 
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Proposed a new way of recording city meetings and thought all video recordings of city meetings should have a permanent retention instead of the state’s one-year retention requirement.
Sam Younghans/1650 Sunset Street/Submitted a document into the record regarding leaf blowers.  He explained how in addition to noise, leaf blowers were a health hazard due to people inhaling the particulate matter. 
2.   Presentation regarding PAC mural guidelines
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the Public Art Commission (PAC) developed the Public Art Mural Packet Guidelines and Process in 2013 and had refined them over the past several months for clarity.
PAC Chair Margaret Garrington further explained the Public Art Mural Packet Guidelines and Process   helped the applicant follow the process in the Ashland Municipal Code (AMC).  She reviewed the selection guidelines in AMC 2.29.130 Guidelines for recommendation by the Commission.  Barry Thalden, a citizen who spearheaded and provided funds for murals at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and on the Calle Guanajuato also added suggestions to the process.
Changes included adding the following bullets under Overview:
  • Applicants without professional mural experience may apply but should partner with a professional muralist.
  • Applicant must provide a budget for the project and if the project is approved funding must be in place before work can begin.
  • Proposed murals are reviewed by the PAC, by the Historic Commission if required, and if recommended by the PAC, approved by the City Council.
  • Murals shall not be proposed for installation on building facades with a public entrance.
  • Murals shall not be proposed for installation on an unpainted façade surface (natural brick, stone) of a historic building.
  • The number of murals per block may be limited.
Ms. Seltzer and Chair Garrington noted murals were not appropriate in historic districts.  Council suggested rewriting the bullet “murals shall not be proposed for installation on building facades with a public entrance” to “murals on the building of a public entrance were subject to special considerations around a proposal that includes such an element.”   Another suggestion wanted more language that ensured the Historic Commission reviewed the preliminary design in addition to the language regarding murals on historic buildings.
Chair Garrington explained a preliminary design was a small sketch of the concept.  It gave the applicant an opportunity to get initial feedback and guidance from the PAC.  She noted the use of the word “promptly” and suggested adding, “in order to facilitate timely PAC reviews throughout the mural preparation and painting process, the applicant may provide staff a schedule of dates for completion of each mural stage addressed below.”
Mr. Thalden supported the new guidelines.  They were in line with the contract he had with the City when producing the two murals he had initiated.  He thought Council should formally adopt the guidelines to strengthen them and add validity.    
Chair Garrington and Ms. Seltzer explained students interested in adding a mural to the Community Skate Park would go through the same process and work with a professional artist.  The Park Commission would participate in reviewing the proposal.
Ms. Seltzer clarified they used the language, “final approval of the installed mural,” because once the mural was installed the easement occurred and the City was accepting a piece of art.  Accepting it prior meant the City was approving a blank wall.  She further clarified the PAC would take the applicant through the process, review the concept, and make a recommendation to Council on whether to accept the mural or not.  At this point, the mural concept was a paper sketch.  The PAC would review the process at three points, wall preparation, color, and the final painting.  This ensured the artist executed the mural according to what the Council approved. 
The Commission would review Mr. Thalden’s suggestions and bring a resolution to Council for further discussion and approval. 
Council suggested revising the language stating the agreement was in effect for five years and could be terminated at that time, to the agreement would remain in effect until terminated.
The City would maintain the mural.  The $500 deposit to the City covered costs to paint over the mural if it did not turn out well.  Ms. Seltzer explained the use of the words “professional design” referenced bullet number two under Overview, “Applicants without professional mural experience may apply but should partner with a professional muralist,” to ensure the sketch was gridded accurately and translated from sketch to wall.  Working with a professional muralist helped ensure the project was successful.
Mr. Lohman confirmed the City was responsible for maintenance and repair of the mural during the life of the agreement.  Ms. Seltzer clarified changing the 300-foot requirement under 2.29.100 (B)(2) applied to the selection panel and would require changing the ordinance.  Chair Garrington further clarified an application for a mural did not require a selection panel or subsequently mailing postcards.
Ms. Seltzer explained the public art guidelines did not apply to exterior walls on private property, schools, or the university that could not be seen from the public right of way.  Mr. Lohman added the ordinance on public art was actually a narrow exemption of the sign code.  A piece of art intended for public viewing needed to be in compliance with the sign code or accepted as public art.  Displaying temporary art pertained to the sign code, not AMC 2.29, or the mural process. 
Council majority supported the changes coming through as a resolution.
Councilor Lemhouse left the meeting at 6:41 p.m.
Council wanted wording other than “shall not,” in the Overview.   
Ms. Seltzer explained removing language in Chapter 18 regarding public art would come before Council at the October 18, 2016 Council meeting.  For the mural guidelines, she would make the changes Council suggested, get the PAC’s input on public facades, building entrances, and the Historic District, and bring a resolution to a future Council meeting for adoption.  The City would grandfather items already installed. 
3.   Look Ahead review
City Attorney Dave Lohman reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
4.   Discussion of custom questions to include in the Citizen Survey
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer provided background on the Citizen Survey developed by the National Research Center.  The City could include one open ended question and three custom questions in the survey. 
Council supported using the following for the open ended question in the survey:  Did you see a decrease in negative behavior in downtown Ashland between the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016?
Council discussed the possibility of asking a question on establishing citywide electric shuttle service and decided to direct that to the Public Works Department who had researched information on the matter previously.
Councilor Voisin left the meeting 7:31 p.m.
Council agreed to use the following custom questions in the survey:
  1. Should the City invest in making City Hall seismically sound?
  1. The City will begin its biannual budget setting process in the spring. There are several issues competing for limited resources. Please rank the following in order of your priorities with #1 as the highest.
• Police staffing
• Fire staffing
• Homeless services
• Funding for affordable housing
• Emergency preparedness
• Reduce Ashland’s carbon footprint and mitigate the effects of climate change
  1. Use the question from the last survey on how the public gets their information.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                          
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder 

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