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Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, March 05, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018
Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the Study Session at 5:34 PM
I.          Public Input (15 minutes, maximum)
Huelz Gutcheon – Ashland- Spoke regarding Croman Mill District and climate change. 
II.        Look Ahead review
Councilor Darrow announced her resignation from City Council effective immediately.  She read her resignation letter into the record (see attached).  She thanked Council and Staff. 
Interim City Administrator, John Karns went over the look ahead.
Councilor Slattery suggested to move the AFN discussion to an earlier date.
Councilor Seffinger spoke that she will not be here on April 3rd for the discussion on approval of Public Art recommendation. As Public Arts Commission Liaison she suggested for Council to ask her any questions regarding this issue at the March 19th Study Session Meeting.
III.       Discussion of potential revisions to Croman Mill District plan
Senior Planner, Brandon Goldman and Planning Manager, Maria Harris presented Council with a PowerPoint presentation regarding the Croman Mill District Plan (see attached).
In their presentation they discussed:
  • History.
  • District Boundaries. Mixed uses, neighborhood center.  Natural features such as the pond on Siskiyou Blvd. Open space corridor along the creek and a central park.
  • Transportation Network. Street framework.
  • Zoning and Development Standards.  Land Use overlays.
  • Full street improvement or a temporary.
  • Greater percentage of residential.
  • Street framework.
  • Affordable Housing.
  • Cottage Housing.
  • Small lot single family.  
  • Potential Plan Amendments.
Council discussed whether or not to proceed with developing a scope of work that describes specific tasks, needed staff and financial resources as well as a timeline for amending the Croman Mill District Plan.
Council discussed:
  • Impact on schools.
  • Population increase.
  • RVTD routes.
  • City Staff resources.
  • Timelines.
  • Annexation and zone changes.
  • Public Outreach.
  • Work plan.
Council gave consensus to begin on the scope of work.
IV. Update on Downtown Policing strategies 
Police Chief, Tighe O’Meara gave an update on Downtown Policing strategies (see attached).
Items discussed in the presentation:
  • Disorderly Conduct.
  • Issues on Will Dodge Way Vinyl Club and O’Ryan’s Irish Pub. 
  • Assault charge against a bouncer at the Vinyl club.
  • Potential action against Vinyl Club from OLCC. 
  • Fire Marshal has been looking at the back deck of Vinyl.  
  • Night clubs and negative behavior.
  • Amount of Staff and enforcement.
  • Having an officer downtown at all times.
Police Officer, Jason Billings spoke that disruptions in the downtown have been less in the last year.  He spoke that business owners have said there has been improvement.
Public Input –
Robert Kendrick-Ashland-Spoke regarding the downtown.  He explained that the Police Department does do a good job moving people along but right when the officers leave the transients return.  He spoke that on Will Dodge Way transients camp there, are aggressive and noisy. He spoke regarding the exit at the Irish Pub and that it is not safe. He expressed he wanted to find ways to address all the issues.  He submitted a letter for the record (see attached). 
Mike Szelong–Ashland- Explained he is the new owner at Irish Pub.  He spoke that he is a good neighbor and suggested ways how to address issues.  He read a letter into the record (see attached). 
Raymond Kistler- Ashland – Spoke that he is the father of the man who was attacked at the Vinyl Club by a bouncer.  He explained his son has been in the hospital for a long time.  He had to go through 2 facial reconstruction surgeries and has to get his teeth fixed. He spoke that he does not see the Vinyl Club as a Community asset.  He spoke that it is a horrible floor plan.  There is no fire sprinkling.  He asked when will this end on Will Dodge Way. He explained there are 2 officers every night to monitor Will Dodge Way. He asked what other business gets 2 officers when they are open. 
Chief O’Meara spoke regarding the assault.  He explained the Police Department is not protecting anyone or excusing criminal behavior.  He spoke that he agrees with the investigation.  He spoke that the Vinyl Club has been in existence for approximately 20 years and the Irish Pub much longer than that.  He spoke that the Police Department does their best to work on problems that come up. He explained that when there are businesses like this in town it does lead to some negative behavior.    He spoke that he is known for being accessible as Chief of Police and if anyone wants to talk to him about anything he would be happy to.
Councilor Rosenthal questioned if it is true that there are 2 Police Officers at Will Dodge Way when open.  Chief O’Meara answered yes for an average of 2 hours a night during the peak nights.  He spoke that he gets emails from neighbors Friday – Sunday with complaints so the Police Department is there to help with the issues and do everything they can do.  He explained this is not special treatment they do the same with the Shakespeare Festival.   
Councilor Rosenthal questioned what would happen if Council voted no to renew an establishments Liquor License.  City Attorney, David Lohman answered that OLCC takes recommendations from the City but ultimately it is up to OLCC.   
Council discussed the possibility of an exclusion zone to stop operation for a period of time.
Mr. Lohman explained that we do not have an exclusionary zone but we do have an expulsion zone.  Chief O’Meara explained that there is a Chronic Nuisance Ordinance.  With this Ordinance if there is a certain amount of times of bad behavior it would go to the judge and could be shut down for 180 days.
Chief O’Meara explained that the Police Department has to be subjective with each case.  There are different rules in business and residential areas. 
Council discussed ways to improving this situation with Will Dodge Way. 
Councilor Morris requested for Staff to bring the Fire Inspections to a future meeting.
Council discussed possibly changing the Code for administering and regulating business licenses.  
The Study Session was adjourned at 7:18 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala
Mayor Stromberg
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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