MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
Chair James McGinnis called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. Commissioners Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, Marni Koopman, Marion Moore, and David Sommer were present. Commissioners Jamie Rosenthal and Bryan Sohl were absent. Staff liaisons Stu Green and Adam Hanks and Council liaison Julie Akins were absent.
2. Consent Agenda
2.1 April 24, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Beigel-Coryell moved to approve the April minutes with Sommer seconding the motion. A vote was taken with all members voting in favor. The motion passed.
3.1 Next Regular Meeting: June 26, 2019
McGinnis announced the next regularly scheduled meeting for Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
3.2 Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
No Sub-committee meetings have been scheduled yet.
3.3 Other Announcements from Commissioners
Cooper emphasized that the City is going through its budget process and that citizens should become involved. Koopman announced that Electric Vehicles Ashland (EVA) has been extended through September. EVA provides incentives for businesses and non-profits to purchase electric cars and bikes. Buck informed the Commission that she had just purchased a Chevy Bolt.
Beigel-Coryell reminded everyone that Southern Oregon University (SOU) will be holding its graduation on Saturday, June 15. SOU is partnering with Goodwill to collect materials from the dorms as students move out. Beigel-Coryell also announced that June will be her last meeting as she has taken a position with CSU Channel Islands.
Sommer stated that the Ashland School District (ASD) Maintenance Department has purchased an electric assist bicycle for his employees to use for maintenance calls between the High School, the Middle School, and Walker Elementary. The bike will help reduce vehicle congestion and coincides with the District’s health and wellness plan.
4. Public Forum
Kevin Deveney – introduced himself and stated that he would like to reconnect with the group. He has been involved with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Mark Knox, a partner of KDA homes, presented their latest development of net zero cottages on Laurel Street. Knox emphasized that the development community is taking into consideration the Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) and that these types of policies do have an influence over developers. The project will start construction this week and is derived from the Verde Village development currently in Ashland.
The Laurel Street project will be Ashland’s first cottage housing complex. The project includes 12 single-level lifelong housing that will be 100 percent net zero utilizing passive solar and no supplemental of natural gas. Highlights of the project include:
• Porous concrete parking area with a water collecting basin and bioswales;
• Two pollinator gardens that will not use pesticides;
• One electric or hybrid vehicle for residents to use in place of a second car;
• Earth Advantage Platinum Certification; and
• Passive solar systems, which could take advantage of the City’s virtual net metering as needed.
Koopman and McGinnis encouraged Knox to choose an all-electric vehicle for the residents since most electric cars have a longer range between charging. Buck provided Knox with information on catching rainwater and a laundry to landscape system. Knox emphasized that this project will be a good indicator of what the market will accept and hopefully encourage local sub-contractors to start implementing these sustainable techniques causing the cost to reduce locally.
6. Old Business
6.1 Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
• July – Paper Reduction Use (Moore – May 13)
• August – Virtual Net Metering (Green/Beigel-Coryell – June 17)
• September – Climate Equity (Koopman/co-author from community – July 15)
• October – CPAC Joint Commission article (McGinnis/CPAC members – August 19)
• November – Leaves and Composting Options (Rosenthal – September 16)
• TBD – Pilot program for Straws on Demand, Juicebox Electric Car Charger, and addressing consumption emissions articles.
The paper reduction use article titled “Paper, Paper, Everywhere!” for the July edition of the Sneak Preview was written by Moore. Edits suggested by the Commissioners included:
• “Buying less stuff” be added to the list;
• Changing the sentence “When a tree is cut down, all the carbon that has been stored in the tree is released and contributes to global warming” to “When a tree is made into paper…”; and
• Spell out 38% at the beginning of the third sentence in the first paragraph.
Buck made a motion to approve the articles with the amendments suggested. Beigel-Coryell seconded the motion. Without further discussion, the motion passed with all members in favor. McGinnis reviewed the list of articles and stated that the CPAC Joint Commission article might have to be moved back as CPAC has not been formed yet. Buck suggested an article on reusable to go boxes could be written in its place.
6.2 Sub-committee updates
Buck announced that Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst, will be holding a workshop with a representative greywater systems July 27. The workshop will also include a tour of local laundry to landscape systems.
• Waste Prevention
Beigel-Coryell recapped that the City received a grant from the Department for Environmental Quality (DEQ) for a durable reusable to go box pilot program within Ashland. The proposed name is Rogue to Go and will include four to five local businesses. If the pilot program is a success, the Sub-committee plans on expanding to other businesses. Koopman updated the Commission on the Straws on Demand program. Koopman and Rosenthal will reach out to the participating businesses to see if they are continuing the program, if they need additional materials, and to find other businesses interested in participating.
• Air Quality
McGinnis said there was no update. Buck asked if there could be further efforts to encourage consumers to switch from gas to electric powered landscape equipment by having a rental system with ACE Hardware. Koopman asked if the group could reach out to ACE and see if there could be a demo area exclusively for electric equipment. Sommer stated that a demo for electric equipment could be put on by ASD, ACE Hardware, or Stihl. Sommer also emphasized that a demo would be a great way to show those who are undecided and even skeptical how the electric equipment is better for the environment and the health of the user.
6.3 CEAP Outreach & Marketing Discussion
• Review CEAP Outreach and Marketing Questions
McGinnis recapped the May 21 Council meeting where the first reading of the Climate Policy Advisory Commission (CPAC) and the amendment to the Conservation Commission took place.
• Review CEAP from Outreach and Marketing Perspective
McGinnis described some details of the Commissions including the possibility of holding meetings every other month, having action teams versus sub-committees, and collaboration between CPAC and the Conservation Commission.
• Review Empower Ashland
• Circle back to Stu’s questions with discussion/next steps
McGinnis read the questions previously provided by Green for the packet and asked members if they would like a physical copy of the CEAP. Sommer and Cooper asked for physical copies. Sommer also stated that ASD would like to incorporate CEAP with their facilities upgrade project. ASD is interested in adopting at least 30 and up to 60 principles from CEAP. McGinnis emphasized that the two Commissions could work together: CPAC putting policy forward to Council and CCOC informing or educating the public about the policy.
7. New Business
7.1 Goal Setting Discussion
McGinnis asked if the Commission had interest in setting large goals with smaller actions outlined to accomplish those goals. Buck is interested in continuing with the Water and Waste Prevention Sub-Committee work and could see them supporting the future goals of the Commission. Koopman agreed to keep with format of the previous Conservation Commission goals, which had taken CEAP into consideration.
Cooper stated that as a new member it would be nice to have more direction on where to start with the CEAP outreach and what is the best strategy for reaching out to the community. He would like to support Green’s work with the Empower Ashland outreach plan and any Council direction. Moore would like to see a list of what has been done and what needs to be done so far and asked if staff could compile this list. Buck suggested to Moore to look at the last five years of the Conservation Commission’s presentation to the Council for a reference of what has been done. Beigel-Coryell also stated that Green and Hanks have given updates to Council which could be used as a reference as well.
McGinnis and Koopman would like to join the Marketing and Outreach Sub-committee with Moore and Cooper. Koopman suggested asking either Council or staff for campaigns to take on based on CEAP needs and based on the groups knowledge. Beigel-Coryell agreed that asking staff for direction will help form the priorities for outreach.
McGinnis asked if the group would like to utilize Sub-committees or action teams. Moore was fine either way and Cooper preferred action teams. Buck stated that more importantly Commissioners need to take action and be willing to do the outreach that will be asked or directed. The Commission can adapt from seeing what works and what does not.
8. Wrap Up
8.1 Items to be added to next agenda
• Plastic Wrapped Marketing Papers Discussion - Hanks
• Council Liaison Update - Akins
• BPA Update - Hanks
• Public Meeting Law - Hanks
• City Operations/Administration – Hanks/Green
Chair McGinnis adjourned the meeting at 8:01 p.m.