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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Meeting

Monday, July 08, 2019

July 8, 2019
Audio File
Tree Commissioners: Parks Liaison:
  Peter Baughman
Asa Cates  
Russell Neff Council Liaison:
Eric Simpson Steven Jensen - Absent
Cat Gould  
  Staff Liaison:
Not In Attendance: Aaron Anderson
Chris John  
          Members of the Public in Attendance:
       Richard Anderson
                                     Jerome White, Kissler Small & White
Chair Cates called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way.
Commissioners Neff/Cates m/s to approve the minutes of June 6, 2019 regular meeting minutes.   Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed
Open to guests. <none>
  • Council Liaison – Steven Jensen <absent>
  • Parks & Recreation Liaison – Peter Baughman
    • Notes that Tom Myers (former tree com) has passed two weeks ago.
  • Community Development Liaison – Aaron Anderson
    • Memo from Mayor and Kelly. Re annual reports.

PLANNING ACTION:                    PA-T1-2019-00064
SUBJECT PROPERTY:                 176 Harrison

OWNER/APPLICANT:             Richard Anderson
DESCRIPTION:                        A request for Site Design Review approval for a second dwelling unit and Solar Setback Exception to construct a two-story garage with the residential unit on the second story. The application also includes a Tree Removal Permit to remove a 25-inch Modesto Ash that is causing damage to the foundation and causing cracking in the walls of the residence. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low Density, Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09DB; TAX LOT: 1900.

The applicant explained that over the years this tree has caused uplift on their patio, and recently cracking in the foundation and interior walls.
Tree commissioners had several questions regarding the other elements of the proposal including details about the solar setback exception, and if the construction of the ARU was necessitating the tree removal.
Cates states that Modesto Ash is not an ideal species for the area.
Commissioners Cates/Neff m/s to approve the application as submitted with a mitigation tree to be planted of their choice.   Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed
PLANNING ACTION:           PA-T2-2019-00010                    
SUBJECT PROPERTIES:         185-197 Lithia Way
APPLICANT/OWNER:          Randy Jones/First Place Partners, LLC
DESCRIPTION:                        A request for Site Design Review approval to construct a new mixed-use building (Plaza East) on Lots #2 and #3 of the First Place subdivision at 185-197 Lithia Way, on the corner of Lithia Way and First Street.  The proposal includes consolidation of the two lots and construction of a 32,191 square foot, three-story mixed-use building consisting of basement parking, ground floor commercial, and 34 residential units distributed between the ground, second and third floors to serve as Oregon Shakespeare Festival artist housing.  The application includes requests to modify the common area landscaping and parking configuration to better accommodate the proposal, and Exceptions to the Site Development and Design Standards’ Downtown Design Standards to allow for balconies on the front of the building and to allow windows that are more horizontal than vertical.  (A nearly identical proposal, but with only 15 residential units, was approved in 2015 but has subsequently expired.  Phase One, a three-story 18,577 square foot mixed-use building (Plaza West) consisting of basement parking, commercial and residential space on the first floor and residential space on the second and third floors was completed on the adjacent property at 175 Lithia Way in 2015 and currently houses Pony Espresso and the Washington Federal bank.COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Commercial;  ZONING:  C-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09BA; TAX LOTS:  10102 & 10103
The applicant is present and spoke to the landscaping plan (Jerome White, Kissler Small & White). All street landscaping has been installed, and there is limited landscaping associated with the building.
There are potential issues with the Lithia way street trees. Because of modifications to OSHA regulations from ten years ago the building is required a larger cut to the sidewalk area than previous. The applicant asks for a condition of approval to include that should they be required to excavate further into the sidewalk they are preemptively approved to replace the street trees.
Tree commissioners discussed details of the types and number of tree intended to be planted. Simpson said he was happy with the selection of trees to be planted.
Commissioners Neff/Simpson m/s to recommend approval of the landscape plan to the planning commission.   Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed
PLANNING ACTION:                PA-TREE-2019-00069
OWNER/APPLICANT:         Ashland Creek Holdings LLC
DESCRIPTION:                        A request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove two trees from a commercial property. The trees requested for removal include two large ash trees which are in poor health. The applicant included photos and a tree risk assessment form stating that they both have a significant amount of crown death in the canopy. The two trees are marked with survey tape for identification.
Anderson gave a brief staff report and answered several questions placed by the commissioners. There was discussion that the trees in question are Alder and not Ash. Cates stated that the trees are clearly dying if not already dead. Gould stated that she believes that the trees were a hazard.
There was discussion regarding the requirement of mitigation planting. Anderson explained that mitigation planting is not required (may vs shall) if the tree has been determined to be a hazard.
Commissioners Cates/Simpson m/s to approve the application as submitted without mitigation plantings.   Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed

PLANNING ACTION:                 PA-T1-2019-00053
SUBJECT PROPERTY:             512 Walker Avenue
OWNER/APPLICANT:        H&J Ashland, LLC/GPD Group
DESCRIPTION:                        A request for Site Design Review approval to remodel the existing approximately 4,124 square foot bank building with drive-up window to a coffee shop with a drive-up window for the property located at 512 Walker Avenue. The application includes requests for Exceptions to the Site Development and Design Standards to allow a three-foot width landscape buffer along an approximately 35-foot section of the driveway adjacent to the trash enclosure where a five-foot buffer would normally be required ( and to the standards for parking lot area design, material selection and treatment of run-off in landscaped medians and swales (; and Tree Removal Permits to remove nine trees six-inches or greater in diameter at breast height, including one 16-inch diameter Sweetgum street tree.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1; MAP: 39 1E 10DC; TAX LOT: 10500.

Peter and Russell both make the point that many of the tree on site are suffering from a lack of watering.
Tree Commissioners discussed several specific trees as they considered the request. Specifically, number 19, the sweet gum (street tree) and whether its removal was required. Trees 7 and 8 are on an adjacent property and while they are on the plan they are not requested for removal.
Considerable time was spent examining the proposed landscape plan and discussing the selection of plants.
Commissioners Simpson/Cates m/s to recommend approval of the tree removal and proposed landscaping plan with the following recommendations: 1) that the irrigation system be put into working order as soon as possible to prevent further tree death, and that 2) the tree to replace #19 the sweet gum be replaced with a Red Oak instead of the cherry plum, and 3) that the cherry plum to be planted in the NE corner of the property be replaced with Autumn Blaze Maple..   Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed
Commissioners  Simpson/Gould adjurned 
adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.     
Next Meeting:  August 8, 2019.   Ad Hoc Committee to meet at 5pm.  Regular meeting at 6pm
Respectfully submitted by Liz Hamilton

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