MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
MAY 1, 2018
1175 E. Main Street
- CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM.
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
- ROLL CALL
Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Bachman, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal were present.
- MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Stromberg announced that Staff requested to have item XI pulled until May 15th Business Meeting.
Councilor Morris moved to pull Item XI and move it to the May 15th Council Business Meeting. Councilor Slattery seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Slattery moved to place Item X. 1. Selection of Councilor Position #6 and Item XI. 1. Approval of Employment Health Benefit Plan ahead of the Public Hearing. Councilor Bachman seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- Study Session of April 16, 2018
- Business Meeting of April 17, 2018
Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes. Councilor Seffinger seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
- RVCOG Annual Presentation –Representative from RVCOG was not in attendance.
- MINUTES OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES
- PUBLIC FORUM Business from the audience not included on the agenda.
(Total time allowed for Public Forum is 15 minutes. The Mayor will set time limits to enable all people wishing to speak to complete their testimony.) [15 minutes maximum]
Huelz Gutcheon – Ashland- Spoke regarding the homeless and affordable housing. He spoke regarding building and using solar panels. He explained the City would make more money using solar panels. He spoke that the climate will be troublesome in 20-30 years and we need to work on making changes now.
- CONSENT AGENDA
- Supplemental Budget Request-Fire Department Forest Division Grant
Councilor Rosenthal pulled this item. He congratulated the Fire Department on a job well done leveraging funds.
- Special Procurement Contract Approval-Lomakatski Restoration Project
- Request for approval of Contract Award with FCS Group for a Cost Allocation Plan
Councilor Slattery pulled this item. Councilor Slattery asked Administrative Services Director, Mark Welch to give a Staff report. Mr. Welch spoke that the Cost Allocation Plan will be great for each Department. He explained this will ensure equitable charges to departments for all internal services. Councilor Slattery asked if this could be done internally. Mr. Welch spoke that it would cost more to do internally.
Councilor Rosenthal asked how many hours of time the FCS group would have to spend to do the job. Mr. Welch answered approximately 150-200 hours to complete the Study. He explained that if done internally it would take longer because they would have to build the spreadsheets as well as do the study.
Councilor Bachman asked if the costs will be listed on the OpenGov site. Mr. Welch answered yes.
- Request for approval of contract addendum #2 with Northwest Code Professionals
Councilor Morris pulled this item. Councilor Morris asked if Code Professionals will be the building official. Community Development Director, Bill Molnar answered yes. Councilor Morris asked if Staff would be in compliance without a Level A on Staff. Mr. Molnar answered yes and explained that the new rule requires an individual employed by the City of Ashland that has building official certification and A level structure inspector and that there is one. He explained that the State requires that the City have an A level electrical inspector which the newest hire does have.
- Approval of Liquor License Application for Umami LLC
Councilor Morris moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
- Selection for Councilor Position #6
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala explained the ballot process. Each Councilor voted for one of the applicants.
Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Bachman and Councilor Morris voted for Stephen Jensen.
Councilor Slattery voted for George Kramer.
Councilor Rosenthal voted for Brent Thompson.
City Attorney, David Lohman suggested Council make a formal motion to appoint Jackie Bachman. She was appointed by Council unanimously by ballot on March 20th (see attached).
Councilor Slattery moved approval to confirm the appointment of Jackie Bachman to Councilor Position #3. Councilor Seffinger seconded. Discussion: None. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously (note: Jackie Bachman did not vote).
Councilor Seffinger moved to appoint Stephen Jensen to Councilor Position #6. Councilor Morris seconded. Councilor Seffinger spoke that she has worked with Mr. Jensen and spoke in support of him and his knowledge of the entire City not just one issue. She spoke to the work he puts in with the Forest Lands Commission. Councilor Morris spoke in appreciation of his hard work ethic. Councilor Slattery spoke that he will support Mr. Jensen as a Councilor but cannot support this motion. He explained that was not in favor to extend the process. City Attorney, David Lohman spoke that Mr. Jensen notified Council that he had previous vacation plans and will miss next Study Session and Business Meeting. Councilor Rosenthal spoke that he appreciates Councilor Slattery’s comments. He spoke that he did not vote for Stephen Jensen but has respect for him. He voted for Brent Thompson but will vote in favor of this motion. Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Bachman, Councilor Morris: YES. Councilor Slattery NO.
Motion passed 4-1.
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- Approval of Employee Health Benefits Plan
Mr. Welch gave a Staff report. He explained that forgiveness of the loan was proposed in the budget process to pay run off cost. He explained that run off cost was to pay off all claims until June 30, 2018.
Councilor Slattery asked if Parks and Recreation money absorbed from the ending fund balance and went into the Reserve Fund. Mr. Welch answered yes.
Mayor Stromberg spoke that when the City went to Pacific Source it worked out well financially. Councilor Slattery asked how it worked out well financially. Mr. Welch explained that the City left CIS 7 years ago and went to Pacific Source on a reimbursement plan to the City’s claim data with no rate increases in 5-year period. The premiums stayed low. He explained that currently claims are looking to be at 6 million a year and CIS has offered a premium at 5.2 million dollars; with that the City will be saving $800,000 for the next year.
Councilor Seffinger moved to forgive the loan between the City’s Health Benefit Fund and the Reserve Fund. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Councilor Seffinger spoke that the City did not start out with a large enough reserve. Councilor Rosenthal spoke that it gives him no pleasure to vote for this. He spoke to the need to have more reserves for the City. He spoke that any savings for a new arrangement going forward with CIS will help hold the premiums down; but this won’t be the source in increasing the Reserve Fund. He spoke there needs to be a new strategy. He spoke the money is gone and we need to forgive the loan. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Rosenthal. He spoke he will support the motion reluctantly. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Slattery moved to approve a Resolution titled, “A Resolution Authorizing Health Benefits Provided by City County Insurance Services and Repealing Resolution 2013-22.” Councilor Bachman seconded. Discussion: Councilor Slattery spoke that this is something that needs to happen “when in a hole start digging”. Councilor Bachman agreed with Councilor Slattery. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- PUBLIC HEARINGS (Persons wishing to speak are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the public hearing. Public hearings shall conclude at 9:00 p.m. and be continued to a future date to be set by the Council, unless the Council, by a two-thirds vote of those present, extends the hearing(s) until up to 10:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
- Public Hearing on the South Ashland Business Park Annexation
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 7:50 PM.
Mayor Stromberg and City Recorder read a statement into the record (see attached).
Councilor Morris declared that he knew about the annexation long before a land use action. He read a statement into the record: “I have not prejudged this application and I am not prejudiced or biased by my prior contacts or involvement or by any personal considerations; I will make this decision based solely on the public interest and the application of the relevant criteria and standards to the facts and evidence in the record of this proceeding.”
Community Development Director, Bill Molnar and Senior Planner, Derek Severson gave a Staff Report.
Mr. Severson presented a PowerPoint to Council (see attached).
Mr. Severson went over the South Ashland Business Park Proposal:
- Annexation of the 5.38‐acre parcel which is currently zoned County RR‐5 (Rural
Residential) and would be annexed to City E‐1 (Employment).
- Site Design Review approval for the phased development of a 72,606 square foot
light industrial/flexible space business park.
- Conditional Use Permit to allow a watchman’s dwelling.
- Limited Use/Activity Permits within the Water Resource Protection Zones of Knoll
Creek and a Possible Wetland on the property to construct a stormwater outfall and
construct street improvements.
- Exception to Street Standards for the frontage improvements along the property's
Washington Street frontage.
- Tree Removal Permit to remove four trees greater than six‐inches in diameter at
breast height (d.b.h.).
He explained that this would be done in 3 Phases.
He explained that the applicant is imposing a trip cap on the property. He spoke that the Planning Commission decided that a trip cap was not required, however; DOT wanted to maintain the proposed trip cap. Staff received a letter this morning from Craig Anderson regarding this issue (see attached). Staff recommends approval of the application.
Councilor Rosenthal questioned what watchmen quarters are used for. Mr. Severson explained it is a care taker facility served as a security function.
Councilor Slattery questioned what a flexible building design is. Mr. Severson explained it is when you grow a business in an adjacent space and let it grow onsite.
Councilor Seffinger asked if it is possible to have residential units. Mr. Molnar spoke that it is possible and it would be up to the applicant.
Councilor Morris questioned what the target density will be. Mr. Molnar answered that in E-1 it will be approximately 3500 sq. ft. of business use for every 10,000 sq. ft. He explained that the downtown will be higher employee densities.
Jay Harland with CSA Planning spoke that this is a good project and an upgrade for the City.
He spoke that flex space is a great mix for offices and warehousing.
He spoke that the Planning Commission did a thorough analysis of the project. There were constraints on transportation they figured out a way to make it work in the long term and short term.
He spoke that this project will have many transportation improvements.
He spoke that he doesn’t think this would be a great place for residential. He spoke that it is a good place for offices and vertical mixed use.
He recommended approval of the project.
He handed a rebuttal letter to Council in reference to the letter received this morning from Craig Anderson (see attached). He explained that the original plan included a trip cap that was in compliance with Transportation Planning Rule and would agree to include the trip cap.
Councilor Seffinger spoke that turning left on Washington St. is difficult and asked if there is an option to fix this issue. Mr. Harland spoke that the projects plan is to move the left out of Washington over to Tolman Creek.
Craig Anderson – Ashland- Spoke that since the applicant has decided to add the trip cap he is fine with the project. He spoke that he is not against the annexation. He explained that the Independent Way Project makes sense. He spoke that the issue is development in the City is not paying for its infrastructure. He spoke to the importance of transportation analysis. He spoke that Tolman Creek will be blown out and will be expensive to fix. He spoke that projects that are in TSP are not funded and development is not going to be paying for them. He spoke in concern of how the City is working on their transportation projects.
Don Morehouse – ODOT – Spoke that he worked with Staff and the applicant before the application was submitted. He spoke that when it came time for the Public Hearing ODOT was not notified. He spoke that ODOT would like the trip cap included with this development. It was confirmed that the applicant wants the trip cap.
Applicant, Evan Archard spoke to the need for more spaces for small businesses to grow and to prosper.
He spoke that this project recognizes what Ashland needs. He spoke that they went through an extensive process with Staff, Planning Commission and ODOT. He spoke that there are no other transportation issues other than the trip cap.
Mr. Harland spoke that their original application did have the trip cap stipulation. He spoke that it is better to not have one but they are fine with the stipulation.
Mayor Stromberg closed the public hearing at 8:55 PM
Any requests to submit final written argument? No.
Advice from legal counsel and Staff
Councilor Slattery requested a response to Mr. Andersons concerns regarding the intersection of Tolman Creek. He questioned whether we have money available to make changes and do changes need to be made. He also questioned how this project will effect Tolman Creek. Public Works Director, Paula Brown explained that the TSP does have 2 projects related to Tolman Creek Road and both are development driven. She spoke that Staff is looking at SDC’s and will be doing an update to TSP to make sure everything is consistent. She spoke that widening Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street is something that will probably have to happen in the future.
Councilor Rosenthal moved to extend the public hearing to 10:30. Councilor Morris seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Rosenthal moved approval of first reading of the Ordinance and scheduling of second reading of the Ordinance for May 15, 2018. Councilor Morris Seconded. Discussion: Councilor Rosenthal spoke to the importance of due diligence with public process. He spoke that he doesn’t see a reason to vote against this. He spoke that the City has an Economic Development Strategy and this project hits 3 of the objectives:
1. Diversifying the economic base of the Community. 2. Supporting creation and growth of businesses that use and provide local and region products. 3. Increasing the number of family-wage jobs in the Community. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Rosenthal. He spoke that there is shortage of facilities like this in Ashland. He spoke in concern with funding improvements with SDC’s. He spoke to the need on finding ways to accommodate funding improvements. Councilor Seffinger spoke that she appreciates that the project increases the goals that Councilor Rosenthal mentioned. Councilor Slattery spoke in appreciation of the project. He spoke that the City does have challenges and the need to building more living wage jobs. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris and Councilor Bachman: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Rosenthal moved to direct staff to prepare written findings for approval of the proposed Annexation, with the trip cap proposed by the applicant and to incorporate the findings for the Planning Commission’s decision, for Council adoption on May 15, 2018. Morris. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Rosenthal, Councilor Bachman and Councilor Morris: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Public Hearing to Consider Increasing Storm Drain, Transportation, Water, and Wastewater Utility Fees
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 9:08 PM.
Ms. Brown gave a Staff report. She explained in order for the City to function we need the rate increases. She spoke that Staff recommends the rate increases. She spoke that the rate increases per standard household will be $5.22.
She spoke in response to an email from Councilor Bachman questioning if Ashland rates are comparable to other cities. She explained that Ashland water rates are on the higher end and waste water rates are in the middle. This information is based on a study done in 2015 by League of Oregon Cities and the Hansford water rate cost study.
Councilor Bachman questioned if the transportation rate increase will help with ADA requirements. Ms. Brown answered yes.
Councilor Rosenthal spoke that the water fund and wastewater fund have rate studies whereas transportation fund and stormwater and drainage fund are tied to Consumer Price Index (CPI) and engineering news record (ENR). He questioned what was budgeted.
Ms. Brown explained that Staff is currently working on a stormwater master plan. She spoke that not all stormwater is strictly construction cost so the CPI index is used to determine the rates. She spoke that there has not been a completed a rate study for transportation and that the ENR is used to determine the rates. She spoke that 3% was budgeted for future growth and future construction.
Mayor Stromberg closed the public hearing at 9:19 PM
Councilor Rosenthal moved to approve a Resolution adopting a storm drainage utility fee schedule pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 4.27.050 and repealing Resolution 2017-07. Councilor Morris seconded. Discussion: Councilor Rosenthal spoke that the adjustment based on the CPI is reasonable and to not make an adjustment on these types of fees would result in a much higher rate increase in subsequent years. He spoke that it is responsible and prudent to make this decision. Councilor Morris spoke that there are a lot of expenses and the rate increase is needed. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Bachman, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Bachman moved to approve a Resolution adopting a transportation utility fee schedule pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 4.26 and repealing Resolution 2016-06. Councilor Slattery seconded. Discussion: Councilor Bachman spoke to the importance of improving the streets and ADA standards. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Bachman. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Bachman, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Seffinger moved to approve a Resolution adopting a water utility fee schedule pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 4.04.030 and repealing Resolution 2017-08. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: Councilor Seffinger spoke that water is a prime concern and it is necessary to protect the resource. Councilor Rosenthal spoke that the water utility fee rate increase is a result of extensive analysis of what our community’s needs are. He spoke that this increase is consistent with projections and rate studies. He explained that costs for the City do not remain the same. He spoke to the importance of analysis to make sure increases are responsible and tied to specific expenses. Councilor Seffinger spoke to the importance of making smaller and incremental increases as opposed to putting it off and having to make large increases in the future. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Bachman, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Slattery moved to approve Resolution adopting a wastewater (sewer) utility fee schedule pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 4.08.035 and repealing Resolution 2017-09. Councilor Bachman seconded. Discussion: Councilor Slattery agreed with Rosenthal’s comments in previous motion. He spoke that it is important to keep looking at these rate increases incrementally. He spoke that he is not happy to raise rates but it is necessary. Councilor Bachman agreed with Councilor Slattery. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Morris, Councilor Bachman, and Councilor Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
- Public Hearing to Consider Increasing Electric Rate and Repeal Resolution 2017-11
Interim Director of Electric Utility, Thomas McBartlett gave a Staff Report.
Councilor Slattery questioned what would happen if the rates were not raised. Mr. McBartlett answered that Staff would have to look at capital budget for 2019.
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 9:39 PM
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 9:39 PM
Councilor Slattery moved approval of a Resolution tilted, A Resolution revising rates for electric service pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 14.16.030 and repealing Resolution 2017-11. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: Councilor Slattery spoke that it is hard to have to raise rates but it is important to continue to pay attention to maintenance. He spoke that he normally votes against increases but this is important to continue the quality of service in Ashland. Councilor Rosenthal agreed with Councilor Slattery and pointed out that because the City of Ashland provides electric utility instead of Pacific Power customers are paying $15/month less. Councilor Seffinger spoke that there are many assistance programs for residents that the City provides. Councilor Morris spoke that electric utility is not great at advertising the improvements. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Councilor Morris, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Bachman and Councilor Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Stromberg thanked Councilor for their decisions on all tonight.
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- Land Use Decision amending the Comprehensive Plan Map designation and zoning for 475 East Nevada Street (Note: With concurrence of Council during Mayor’s Announcements, this item may be continued to the May 15, 2018 Council meeting).
This item was moved to the May 15th Business Meeting.
- ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
- Transportation Network Companies-Amendment to AMC 6.28
Assistant City Attorney, Katrina Brown gave a Staff report.
She spoke regarding public safety measures. She went over the background check options.
She explained that Lyft did not provide any written comments for Council but she spoke to a representative which spoke in opposition to individual driver permits. Uber is also opposed.
She spoke that a change in the Ordinance was to include a requirement to assist people with disabilities. The Transportation Commission was in support of this change.
Councilor Rosenthal spoke in appreciation of the work done. He questioned why the Transportation Commission did not vote on the Ordinance. Ms. Brown explained that she prepared a memo and asked that the Transportation Commission to provide a recommendation. Due to time constraints there was not a formal vote.
Mark Thomas- Ashland- Mr. Thomas spoke that he attended the transportation meeting. He explained that he is a consumer that travels a lot. He spoke that TNC’s are brilliant in cities where you have demand and density. He spoke that he drives a Taxi for Crater Lake Taxi 3-4 times a week. He spoke that he works from 5 am – 5 pm and on a typical day he has 7 calls. He spoke that there is no demand for TNC’s. He spoke that people without smartphones would not be served as well as people in need of wheelchair service.
Nancy Buffington-Ashland –Spoke that she works for Cascade Shuttle. She explained that she is accountable with insurance and background checks. She spoke that there are Uber drivers with no insurance. She spoke that she has operated under the standards of the City for 10 years. She spoke against bringing TNC’s into Ashland.
Joseph Forika- Ashland- Manager of Crater Lake Taxi. Mr. Ferika explained the pros and cons of each option. Pros for TNC’s: cheaper fares, convenience of auto payment, smart phone apps, more numbers of drivers and that tourists will use the popular TNC. Pros for the local Taxi drivers: provide proven commercial insurance, experienced drivers, wheel chair service, hospital rides, 24-hour service 365 days a year, no cancellation charges, all road condition services, police background checks and finger printing, and can get a cab without a smart phone. He spoke that there are more reasons to keep transportation services local.
Mike Spargur-Ashland - Spoke against TNC’s coming to Ashland. He spoke to the importance of supporting small businesses in Ashland.
Evan Lasley – Spoke to consider amending proposed Ordinance. He read a statement into the record (see attached). He spoke to reasons why to not move forward with the proposed Ordinance.
Letter submitted to the record from Jon Isaacs (see attached).
Councilor Rosenthal spoke to the importance of the Transportation Commission providing a vote on this issue.
Councilor Rosenthal moved to refer this matter to the Transportation Commissions May 17th Regular Meeting for a recommendation to Council and bring this item back to Council on June 5th. Councilor Slattery seconded. Discussion: Councilor Slattery agreed to the importance of having the Transportation Commission having a vote on this issue. Councilor Bachman spoke that she has received many emails and comments regarding this issue asking why the City does not have Lyft and Uber. She suggested for citizens to attend Transportation Commission and Council Meetings to speak up. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
- OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
- ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala
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).