Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
Note: Items on the Agenda not considered due to time constraints are automatically continued to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting [AMC 2.04.030.E.]
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM
Councilor Slattery, Bachman, Jensen, Morris, and Seffinger present. Councilor Rosenthal was absent.
Mayor Stromberg announced that the Forest Lands Commission Presentation would be postponed to a future date.
Slattery/Bachman moved to move Item XIII. 2. Second Reading of an Ordinance Amending Accessory Residential Units before Item 1.  Resolution Modifying Management Employment conditions.  Discussion:  None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Stromberg introduced Senora Clarita from Guanajuato.  Senora spoke thanking Mayor and Councilors for their hospitality representing the Guanajuato at the 4th of July festivities this year. 
She spoke that the Queen Jessica Rumiera had great gratitude and respect for Ashland.  She spoke regarding the tours, beautiful scenery and great people in Ashland.   
Future President Municipal, Alejandro Navarro asked Senora to send sentiments regarding the 50th year celebration coming next year.  She spoke that they are looking forward to the planning of the celebrations and thanked the City for their kindness. 
    1. Study Session and Executive Session of July 2, 2018
    2. Business Meeting of July 3, 2018
Bachman/Slattery moved to approve the Minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Annual Presentation by Forest Lands Commission
This Item was moved to a future agenda.
Airport Conservation Forest Lands
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Planning Public Arts Transportation
Tree Wildfire Mitigation  
  1. 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- Hwy 99- Spoke regarding slow electricity verses fast electricity. He spoke that City leaders should have fast electric cars and that they would be great use for emergencies. 
Larry-Ashland- Spoke that he is co-owner with his wife at the Book Exchange.  He spoke regarding an incident where he let his grandkids walk free downtown and knew they would be safe.  He spoke that a year ago he would not let them do that.  He expressed his gratitude in funding additional Police Officers to make the City safe.  He spoke that the Police Department treats people with respect and the atmosphere downtown has improved. He thanked the Council and Police Department.
    1. Liquor License Approval Request – Aqua Holdings, LLC
    2. Liquor License Approval Request – Hold Fast Wine Co, LLC
    3. Liquor License Approval Request – Ashland Wine Cellar
    4. Liquor License Approval Request – IKA, LLC
Slattery/Morris moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously. 
  1. 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.)
    1. Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance
Mayor Stromberg gave background information to this Ordinance (see attached).
Senior Planner, Brandon Goldman and Division Chief/Forestry Division, Chris Chambers gave a brief staff report.
Mr. Goldman gave a brief background and explained that this Ordinance began in 2014.
Mr. Chambers and Mr. Goldman presented Council with a PowerPoint Presentation (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • Wildfire Ordinance Update.
  • Why the Ordinance is needed.
  • Comprehensive approach to wildfire readiness and preparedness.
  • Wildfire Lands Map Amendment.
  • Wildfire Development Standards.
  • General Fuel Modification Areas/Requirements.
  • Tree Removals.
  • Prohibited Flammable Plant List consisting of: Trees, Shrubs, Grasses and Ground Cover.
  • Commission Recommendations.
  • Ordinances and Resolution.
Council discussed the permits for Accessory Residential Units. 
Seffinger spoke in concern with the fact that the Housing and Human Services Commission did not weigh in on this Ordinance. She spoke in importance of the impact of affordable housing. 
Commission Recommendations:
Planning Commission, Wildfire Mitigation Commission and Tree Commission recommended approval of the Ordinance.
Bachman questioned how well attended the Open Houses were.  Mr. Chambers answered that there were approximately 10-15 in attendance at the Open Houses.   Mayor Stromberg spoke to the importance of community awareness. 
Council discussed costs for new construction and remodels with this Ordinance in place. 
Slattery spoke that this is an issue that needs to be addressed; but, he spoke in concern that this is a big enforcement issue and that this hasn’t been brought to the public enough. 
Council discussed how all would be enforced. 
Council discussed ways to educate the Community.  Mr. Chambers explained there has been ongoing education to the Community and they will continue to do so. 
Council and Staff discussed ways to get information out to the Public regarding this Ordinance.
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 8:38 PM
Public Input:
Nancy Nelson –Ashland– Spoke that she does not want Ashland to be another Santa Rosa. She spoke in support in passing the Ordinance as soon as possible.  She spoke regarding the dangers of flammable trees and plants.  She spoke regarding human safety for property owners. She spoke that the Fireman are heroes. 
Shannon Downey–Ashland- Spoke regarding her background as a Fire Ecologist.   She spoke that she does not support the Ordinance as written and explained her reasons why.   She spoke that the plant list is misguided.  She suggested to show the Community how to create fire resistant vegetation.
Jason Eaton- Ashland – Read a letter into the record (see attached).   
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 8:44 PM
Morris spoke in concerns of the Railroad District.
Slattery spoke that he felt uncomfortable when suggest that something that we are looking at tonight is going to be the answer to Ashland burning down.  He questioned how much this will lower fire hazard.  Mr. Chambers explained that this is one piece of fire prevention it is not the silver bullet to save the City.  He explained that currently we are digging deeper in the hole building structures and landscapes that are not wildfire safe. He spoke in support of the Ordinance and explained that it was reviewed with fire experts. He explained one piece will not save Ashland but Ashland has a higher potential to survive with it than without it.  Slattery spoke to the importance of educating the Community.   
Jensen spoke in favor of the Ordinance.
Seffinger spoke that the City needs to look at all things to make city safe. She spoke to the importance of getting information to the Public.
Bachman spoke in support of the Ordinance but is concerned with the timing. She spoke to the importance of education. 
Morris spoke in support of parts of the Ordinance. He spoke that it needs to be refined a little more with zones and that certain areas need to be kept Safe and Rescue (SAR). He spoke to the importance of education regarding the Ordinance.
Bachman/Morris moved to extend the Public Hearing to 10:30 PM.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.  
Slattery spoke that he was not comfortable making a rushed decision and would like more discussion and information. He suggested a continuance.    
Jensen spoke in support of the Ordinance. 
Seffinger spoke that she is in support of a Firewise Community but not sure if this Ordinance will accomplish that.  She spoke to the importance of educating the Community.
Mayor Stromberg suggested getting more public comment on this topic.
Mr. Chambers explained that there were 4 public meetings on the topic.
Council discussed the importance of public input.
Council directed Staff to hold 1 or 2 public informational meetings to get more Community involvement and to bring the Ordinance back for a First Reading.
Moved Item XIII. #2 Second Reading of an Ordinance Amending Accessory Residential Units
Maria Harris gave a brief staff report. She spoke that there was one change to the Ordinance.
Morris/Jensen moved to approve second reading as presented titled, “An ordinance amending chapters 18.2.2, 18.3.4, 18.3.5, 18.3.9, 18.4.2, 18.4.3, 18.4.4, 18.5.2 and 18.6.1 of the Ashland Land Use Page 2 of 3 Ordinance relating to accessory residential units and miscellaneous edits for clarity and consistency.” Discussion:  Council spoke in support of the Ordinance. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Morris, Bachman, Seffinger and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
Morris/Slattery moved to approve the Findings. Discussion:  None. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Morris, Bachman, Seffinger and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. League of Oregon Cities – Legislative Priorities
Interim City Administrator, Adam Hanks gave a staff report.  Council discussed options.  
Slattery/Morris moved to direct Staff to send League of Oregon Cities their top priorities. Discussion:  None.  All Ayes. 
  1. Resolution Modifying Management Employment Conditions
Mr. Hanks gave a brief staff report. 
Human Resources Director, Tina Gray spoke that the management Resolution has not been updated since 2012.  She explained that since health care has changed there was a need for an update to keep up with current practice.  She spoke regarding using the CPI as a reference for Cost of Living increases.
Council discussed sick leave.  Ms. Gray explained if sick time is not used it can be cashed out or rolled over into vacation time. 
Bachman questioned if the City is in line with comparable Cities.  Ms. Gray answered yes. 
Council discussed benefits.  
Slattery/Jensen moved approval of a Resolution clarifying certain conditions of employment for management and confidential employees of the City for fiscal year 2018-2019 effective July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, and repealing Resolution 2012- 23. Discussion:  Slattery spoke in favor of the Resolution but agrees with Morris regarding raising costs when we are facing budget issues.  The more we raise those costs the more at risk we put people in.   He spoke that he wants our staff to be compensated in relations to peers in other cities.  Jensen spoke to the importance of internal equity and having employees valued.  Seffinger spoke to the importance of equity. City Attorney, Dave Lohman explained that Interim City Administrator, Adam Hanks brought this up to become an annual Resolution and to make sure the motion states the effective date. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Bachman, Seffinger and Jensen: YES.  Councilor Morris: NO.  Motion passed 4-1.  
Slattery/Seffinger moved to amend the motion to include item 17 to read “this resolution shall be effective from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Discussion:  Morris spoke that he has not decided on how to vote on this Resolution due to his concern regarding vacation time. Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Slattery, Morris, Bachman, Seffinger and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.  
Slattery agreed with Morris’ suggestions and suggested for Staff to bring back the accruals regarding vacation time.          
Seffinger announced she attending the Cooling Center and it was great.
The Council Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:23 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).

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