Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
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.]
7:00 p.m.  Regular Meeting
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen present.
Mayor Stromberg announced the current Commission/Committee vacancies.
City Administrator Kelly Madding spoke regarding the seasonal winter shelter at 2082 East Main.   She spoke that ORA has applied for a permit and we are still moving through the process.  She spoke that ORA asked for an extension of 30-45 days and they should have it complete this week or next week.
    1. Study Session of April 1, 2019
    2. Business Meeting of April 2, 2019
Rosenthal/Graham moved to approve the minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Annual Presentation by the Historic Commission
Staff Liaison Fotini Kaufman and Commissioner Keith Swink gave Council an update on the Historic Commission (see attached).
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]
Gill Livni – Ashland – Spoke regarding affordable housing.  Spoke that permits for apartments are as much as a single home.  He suggested Ashland do something with Pacific Power because they support their apartment units.  
Huelz Gutcheon – Ashland – Spoke that he witnessed a traffic jam today that lasted about 10 minutes.  He questioned where all these people driving in the downtown are coming from. He spoke in support of electric cars.  He explained that changes in all aspects of society need to take place this decade.
George Kramer – Ashland – Spoke regarding fiscal responsibility and the future of Ashland. He spoke to the importance of living within our means.   He asked Council to stop raising utility rates and to find other ways to trim the budget. He spoke that if this keeps happening he will lead an effort to change the City Charter.
Meredith Paige – Ashland – Spoke in disappointment of Council banning the Santa Clar Vanguard Band Camp at the SOU Football field.  She spoke that there are not many performances allowed in Ashland and this is sending a negative message to the young people in Ashland.  Band ban.  Upset Council not allowing now.  Not many performances allowed in Ashland.  Slattery explained that the ban was handled by SOU not the City Council.
    1. Appointment of Steve Asher to the Wildfire Safety Commission
Seffinger pulled this item.  She spoke in support of this appointment.
  1. Annual Reappointment of Commissioners with Terms Expiring on 4/30/2019
  1. Acceptance of 6th Quarter Financial Report
  1. ODOE Renewable Energy Development Grant
Slattery/Graham 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. Public Hearing on the 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Award and CDBG Action Plan Development
Staff Liaison Linda Reid and Commission Chari Rich Rhode gave a Staff report.
Reid spoke that they received 4 applications and that the applicants are in the audience.
Akins questioned why they decided not to award anything to Rogue Retreat.  Reid explained that their application did not receive enough points. She explained the process on how the funds are split.
Council discussed the possibility of using the left over money to repair the Community Center and Pioneer Hall. 
Council gave consensus to have Staff complete an analysis on the 2 buildings and bring back this item to a future Council Meeting. 
Mayor Stromberg opened the public hearing at 7:48 PM.
Mary Ferrell – Medford – Founder of the Maslow Project - Spoke regarding the successes of last year.  They served between 85-90 individuals. They just opened a winter warming shelter with the City of Medford for ages 18-24.  She explained that homeless youth coming to Ashland to stay at the shelters. Last year Ashland adopted same model as Medford. She spoke that it was a successful and good to see kids feel safe.  They provided transportation to get kids to school. They received funding from Access and helped families get into low income housing. Over next year and a half 20 units will be provided.
Vicky Weiss Volunteer grant writer for St. Vincent De Paul – Ashland - Spoke that she has been around Ashland a long time and sees the strengthen in Community. She spoke to the importance of the help from the CDBG Funds. Each year they are able to match the dollars they get. She spoke how much these funds help people.   Council thanked them for their work and passion. 
Pamela Joy – Ashland - Founder of Food Angels.  Joy spoke that this has been going on since 1995.  She spoke that they are fully volunteered.  She explained they collect food that is useable and get the food to the Food Bank, Head Start and Student programs.  She spoke that last year they collected and gave away half a million pounds of food.  She spoke that last year one of the doors broke; a volunteer put up a temporary door but it is not lockable and doesn’t stay shut. She spoke that this Grant would help improve the building by fixing the door and also getting a new AC unit to keep food from going bad.
Seffinger questioned who the sources are to collect the food. Joy answered: Market of Choice, Shop and Kart and the COOP daily.  They also have a lot of fresh vegetable options now too from 6-10 local organic farms.  Also, every baker in town has contributed over the years.
Council spoke in appreciation to the applicant. 
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 8:05 PM.
Akins/Rosenthal moved to direct Staff to draft the 2019 Annual Action Plan for the use of Community Development Block Grant funds reflecting the award of CDBG funding for the 2019 Program year as follows:
· $18,000 to Ashland Food Angels in Capital Improvement funding for the repairs to their food storage and processing facility
· $15,463 to St. Vincent De Paul in Public Service funding for their Home Visitation Program
· $10,850 to Maslow Project in Public Service funding for their School Based Services.
Discussion:  Akins spoke that this is a great investment and thanked all.  Rosenthal agreed and spoke in appreciation.  Seffinger spoke to the importance of this.  Roll Call Vote: Jensen, Graham, Slattery, Akins, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. Public Hearing for Land Use Appeal (Planning Action #PA-T2-2018-00006; 476 N. Laurel Street)
City Attorney David Lohman gave a brief overview of Public Hearing rules.
The Mayor and Recorder read the Script (see attached).
Conflict of interest   
Jensen explained he had contact before the applicant submitted the application since he lives around the corner of the project.  Applicant Mark Knox discussed the project with him but he does not feel he has any conflict of interest and 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; I will make this decision based solely on the application of the relevant Code standards to the facts and evidence in the record of this proceeding”.
Akins spoke that she for KDA Homes but has no conflict of interest and read the above statement into the record.     
Slattery spoke he read about it in the paper and had no conflict of interest. He read the above statement into the record.   
Staff Report
Community Development Director Bill Molnar and Derek Severson Senior Planner gave a Staff Report. 
Severson went over a PowerPoint presentation (see attached). 
Items discussed were:
  • Located on the corner of North Laurel and Mountain View Drive.  And continues down to Orange. 
  • Site Plan the applicants have provided. 
  • Central Open Space.
  • Picture of the development.
  • Attached units and frontage along Mountain View. 
  • 5 Points of appeal.
Staff spoke in support of the Planning Commissions decisions and suggested bring back Findings at the May 7th Council Business Meeting.  
Applicant Presentation
Sydnee Dreyer and Mark Knox of KDA Homes presented to Council.
Dreyer spoke that this is an unusual appeal and the record shows it was very clear that all criteria was met.   
She went over the 5 points of appeal speaking that there were no grounds for appeal for each item.
Slattery/Graham moved to extend the Public Hearing until 10:30 PM.  Discussion: None. Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously. 
Appellant’s Presentation
Greg Clevenger – Ashland – Spoke that he understands Cottage Housing proposal and that it is needed.  He spoke that he is in support of the project except for the issue on Mountain View Drive regarding the queuing lane.  He spoke that it would be dangerous if there was a fire and needed to get out.  The streets would be too narrow.  He questioned how a decision can be made without considering Mountain View being extended and traffic will increase.
Patricia Potter – Ashland - Spoke that it is clear that the development should be required to have 7 parking bays.  She spoke that this would be dangerous for the neighborhood and too congested with parking. She suggested no queuing lane.  She spoke this will be dangerous for kids riding bikes to school and danger for people that want to use the park.  She also spoke regarding wildfire danger.  She spoke that a traffic study being done and paid for by KDA homes is a conflict of interest.  She spoke that the neighborhood has asked numerous times for 7 bays.  She explained she wants to have safe projects that benefit the citizens.
Oral Arguments
Kerry Hofsess – Ashland – Spoke that there are 500 homes in Quiet Village. He explained that there will be no way out to North or East. It will be down to one lane with traffic on both sides.
Robert N. Lane – Ashland – Spoke that the main issue is Parkside Drive and East Drive which make up to 40-50 homes and only 2 ways out.  He explained the primary evacuation routes are Mountain View Drive.  He spoke that the other end of development of 22 ft. is too narrow.  He explained the record shows 12 parking spots that are small and 12 cottages. He spoke that most families have more than one vehicle and will need to park on the street.
Rebuttal by applicant
Dreyer spoke that the only comments from Fire Marshal that can be considered are what was in the record.  He spoke of no concerns. She spoke that she is not unsympathetic to what the neighbors are saying but she is concerned with process and laws.   She explained if the City wants to look at different standards for streets and cottage housing this can be looked at in the future.    
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 9:16 PM
Advice from Legal Counsel and Staff
Deliberation and Decision     
Jensen/Rosenthal moved to affirm the decision of the Planning Commission, reject the appeal and direct staff to prepare written findings for approval reflecting the original Planning Commission decision from March 12, 2019 for adoption by Council.
Discussion:  Jensen spoke that this is needed and that Staff adequately addressed the concerns of the appellant. He spoke in appreciation of the appellant and understands the concerns; but limited to the constraints listed.  Rosenthal spoke that he doesn’t see anything that would lead him to believe that the decision should be reversed. Graham spoke that she hasn’t heard anything that would lead her to think there was a procedural or legal error. She also spoke to the importance of the process.  Slattery agreed with the above statements.  He suggested a review of this project down the line to see if adjustments need to be made.  Mayor Stromberg spoke in support of Staff about each appeal point.  Roll Call Vote:  Rosenthal, Jensen, Slattery, Akins, Seffinger and Graham: YES.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. TOT Allocation and Grant Award Review Process
Madding gave a Staff report. 
Assistant to the City Administrator Adam Hanks presented Council with PowerPoint presentation (see attached). 
Items discussed were:
  • BN 2019-21 Revenues.
  • Tourism Restricted Funds.
  • Unrestricted Funds.
  • Grant Allocations.
  • Small Grant Application amount and asking costs.
  • Process Options.
Council discussed their options and the process.
Slattery/Rosenthal moved to recommend to the Budget Committee that a Sub-Committee be established to make recommendations to award the small grants program; and recommend that the restricted tourism dollars consist of roughly $80,000 and the unrestricted consist of roughly $150,000. Discussion: Slattery spoke that he does not want to stop this process and spoke to the importance of the small grants program and would like it to continue. Rosenthal agreed with Slattery.  Graham spoke that while she supports the program she had concern of the budget.  She spoke if this gets passed we are telling the Budget Committee that we want this money to have special priority.  She spoke that this isn’t a conversation we should be having now.  She spoke that the Budget Committee Meetings begin tomorrow and that is where this conversation should be had. She spoke she is ok to have the tourism restricted funds be allocated tonight but would like to look at the unrestricted funds separately.  Seffinger spoke to the importance of transparency and to look at the goals and look at necessary services first. She spoke in agreement with Graham. Akins spoke that we already moved some money around and awarded money to Visitor and Convention Bureau and Shakespeare and spoke in agreement with Slattery and Rosenthal. Jensen asked Graham if she is amending the motion. Graham answered that she would be ok with approving allocating the tourism restricted fund but not the unrestricted.  Slattery clarified that this is not something he is suggesting to dictate to the Budget Committee, it is still there for them to decide.  The Council is just saying they want to keep this program in place. Jensen spoke that it seems everyone in general in agreement.  He is concerned with the clarity of how this motion is going to be interpreted. Slattery spoke that he would be there to clarify. Council discussed the process.
Slattery/Rosenthal moved to call the question. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Akins and Rosenthal: YES. Graham, Seffinger and Jensen: NO.  Mayor: NO.  Motion failed 3-4.
Discussion of main motion continues:
Madding clarified the Council has allocated portions of the of the restricted funds but not any of the unrestricted. 
Tonya/Seffinger moved to split the motion one for making a recommendation for restricted funds and one making a recommendation for unrestricted funds. Discussion: Graham spoke that unrestricted can be used for things in the unrestricted General Fund. And believes we can get working on the tourism side and set up the sub-committee. Seffinger agreed with Graham.  Akins spoke that this is valid but it is just a recommendation to continue small grants and clarified we are not spending money tonight.   Jensen spoke that he likes the idea keep out of unrestricted funds for now. Slattery clarified that this is not to lock the Budget Committee in it is just a recommendation.  He spoke that Council needs to weigh in on whether they support the small grants program but the budget can change it as they see fit.  
Roll Call Vote: Seffinger, Graham and Jensen: YES.  Slattery, Akins and Rosenthal: NO.  Mayor: NO.  Motion failed 3-4.
Main Motion Roll Call Vote:  Slattery, Rosenthal, Akins: Yes.  Graham, Seffinger and Jensen: NO.  Mayor: Yes.  Motion passed 4-3.
Hanks spoke that Staff will have a Resolution come back for all of the decisions on the allocations.
Council discussed process and timelines.  
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 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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