MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 16, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 2, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor made presentation of James M. Ragland Memorial "Volunteer Spirit" Community Service Award to Bill Modesitt.
Proclamations for "Volunteer Recognition Week," "Respite Care Awareness Week," "National Library and School Library Media Week," "Back to School Week," and "Public Safety Telecommunications Week" were announced.
Ashland Police Dispatcher Gail Rosenburg read aloud a statement confirming the dedication and commitment of police dispatchers.
Councilor Hartzell requested that items #3 and #6 be pulled from the Consent Agenda. Councilor Morrison requested that item #5 be pulled from the Consent Agenda.
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1, #2, #4 and #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilors Hanson/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3 as stated. DISCUSSION: The impressive list of qualified applicants to the open positions was noted as well as the difficulty of the task in making the appointment choices. It was clarified that commission and committee meetings are open and public participation is desired. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council discussed the update on the "Big Box" ordinance process, particularly if the time-line would be adequate to protect the needs of the city. Staff clarified that while the process might trigger someone to try and beat the adoption of the ordinance that at this time they have no knowledge of actions that would be a problem.
Council discussed the approval of the easement off Sylvia Street. Staff clarified that the City has a one foot strip of land called a "Street Plug" which acts as a safeguard and gives the council control over allowing access and development of adjoining property.
Councilors Reid/Hearn m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #5 and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Joanie McGowan/302 W Nevada/Requested that the City Council drink city water during council meetings rather than purchased bottled water. She expressed her opinion that doing so would set a good example.
Council noted that the Council Chambers building lacks sanitary facilities for washing and filling drinking water pitchers and glasses. It was pointed out that water containers must be filled from bathroom faucets.
1. Council appointment of Councilor Pro-Tem to Position No. 4.
DeBoer announced that Kate Jackson was appointed, at the earlier Special Council Meeting, to the pro tem Council Position No.4 during Councilor Cameron Hanson's military duty.
2. Approval of Siskiyou Boulevard Final Design (90%) and Ashland Street Final Design Concepts (60%).
Public Works Director, Paula Brown reported on the Siskiyou Design project, noting that at the December 18th Council meeting, Council approved the 60% design details for Siskiyou Boulevard between 4th and Walker Street, and approved the concept design for Ashland Street (Hwy 66) from Siskiyou to Faith.
Final design is on schedule and the last element for the council review are cost estimates. With the council decision, final details would be completed and bid documents prepared so the project can go to bid by late May or early June. Construction remains on schedule for mid-July 2002 with completion by December 2003.
Staff recommended to the council to approve the Siskiyou Boulevard design from 4th to Walker and be directed to complete the final design for construction bidding to include:
· Continue to negotiate for the Beach/Morse realignment
· Take the next step to consolidate the driveways at 7-11 to one access on Siskiyou near Indiana
· Discuss with the owner the removal of one driveway at the Ashland Motel.
Staff also recommended that the council approve Ashland Street design from Siskiyou to Faith and to complete final design for construction bidding to include:
· Discuss the removal of one driveway at the Klamath First Bank on Ashland Street with the property owner
· Discuss the removal of one driveway at the Three Harmonics on Ashland Street with the property owner
· Discuss the removal of one driveway at the Advanced Check Cashing on Ashland Street with the property owner.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke against the proposal, noting that when the Government passed the Interstate Freeway Act in 1956 in order to ease traffic congestion in cities, the effect was detrimental to communities, isolating neighborhoods and destroying them as living/walking places. He sees the current proposal as driven by a similar consciousness in easing traffic congestion and increasing traffic flow, noting that nearly half of the intersections on Siskiyou will be closed off making it a through-fare and forcing traffic onto side streets.
Elizabeth Bretko/1360 Oregon Street/Stated concern with making Walker an alternate route due to the elementary school, noting that people drive way too fast on Walker Street already.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite/Spoke regarding landscaping on the median on Siskiyou Blvd., stating and illustrating that you can be green without being a lawn. She urged the City to do the right thing and set an example by planting landscaping that is conservative in resources. She suggested that natural history and human history can work together in harmony and that we can have beautiful landscaping without lawns
Staff noted that the closing of some intersections would increase bike and pedestrian safety. Mark Hadley, Landscape Architect with W & H Pacific, explained that the plan meets multiple landscaping objectives. He noted that it keeps the look of the lawn in the historic area and is drought tolerant. Efficient water use for landscaping would be possible with a computer controlled water management system, moisture sensors and flow meters in other areas.
Brown explained the cost estimates for the council, noting the original estimate was 2.2 million. The current estimate is $2 million for the construction project plus $180,000 for storm drain work, $125,000 for pedestrian lighting, and contingency. Engineering/inspection costs could be as high as 25 - 30%. It was noted that the difference between pre design estimates and final design estimates are $548,000. That $3 million would fund the entire project now - rather than phasing in lighting or landscaping as discussed as an option during the 60% review. She suggested, when they are nearer to 100%, to bring it back to the council, and show what the difference between spending $2.5 million vs. $3 million would look like.
Councilors Laws/Hearn m/s to approve staff recommendations. Voice Vote: Laws, Hanson, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn, YES. All AYES. Motion passed.
3. Approval of Gresham / 3rd / E. Main / Lithia / Siskiyou Intersection Final Design Concept.
Brown recapped the two options that were presented to the council for their decision. She noted that both options create additional parking in front of the library, with a net loss of between one and five parking spaces overall. She noted the increased safety for bicycles and pedestrians and clarified that signals would be synchronized and interconnected to operate as a unit.
Bill (B.G.) Hicks/190 Vista/Presented a letter to the council that noted that the proposal is, not the same as "changing of driving habits." He felt that the proposal fails to discuss the severe impacts that would result from this change of traffic flow onto Gresham Street. He noted issues and problems from impacts that had not been discussed as 1) liability issues, 2) safety/accident issues, 3) decrease in property values, 4) increase in noise, and 5) Shakespeare foot traffic/parking garage issues. He commented that rerouting Vista-Fork-Pioneer Streets to one-way downhill does not solve the problem, but only creates a gridlock at Hargadine and Pioneer Streets and the need for a traffic light at that location.
Marilyn Briggs/590 Glenview/Spoke in favor of revised option #2. She commented on traffic safety issues involving traffic flow and requested that the council allow Gresham Street to remain a two-way street. Stated that it is impossible to engineer "total safety."
Daniel Greenblatt/501 Allison/Spoke in strong favor of the revised option #2 plan. Felt that it was crucial to allow a traffic signal in order to provide safety for increased pedestrian traffic. He urged that Gresham Street be allowed to remain a two-way street.
Don Reynolds/64 Gresham/Spoke in favor of the revised option #2 plan. He commented on the professionalism of the Public Works Director. He shared his own observation on the number of parking spaces that are open on Gresham Street, and noted his belief that traffic flow is more crucial at this point than parking issues.
Brown noted that option #2 costs $75,000 more but solves a bigger problem with pedestrian access points and safety.
Council discussed various points in the design options including, 1) amount of parking available for the library; 2) traffic flow and patterns; 3) safety environment for bicyclists and pedestrians; and 4) Gresham Street in terms of one-way and two-way traffic.
Councilors Hanson/Hearn m/s to approve Option #2 (two-way traffic on Gresham Street). DISCUSSION: Laws commented that the council had not discussed all of the things it should have discussed. Voice Vote: Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn, YES; Laws, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Council discussed Option #2 in terms of bicycle and pedestrian safety, and the availability of parking. It was noted that the design was preliminary. Staff was directed to move forward with the design and to further examine parking issues.
A brief report on the proposed gateway feature of Siskiyou Boulevard was given. It was noted that new public space is created by the redesign and that there is opportunity to determine what the space should look like -- possibilities included, green-space, shade, pedestrian seating, and an area of public art.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council discussion of Nuisance Abatement Process for Asphalt Batch Plant located at 255 Mistletoe Road.
Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to accept staff recommendation to continue to encourage LTM to relocate the batch plant. Refer to the Planning Commission a modification of current zoning language to change an asphalt batch plant from a permitted use to a conditional use in the industrial zone (M-l).Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Approval and Conditions for ODOT's Request for Night Work on N. Main / E. Main and Lithia Way from Valley View to 3rd Street.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a project to repave the entire section of Hwy. 99 from Valley View Road to 3rd Street in Ashland. ODOT has contracted with LTM for this project and is asking for a permit and a variance from current City ordinance regarding noise in order to perform concrete work at night in some sections of the project.
Brown stated that the staff recommendation is for the council to approve night work with conditions that take into consideration neighborhoods and the downtown area, including
· NO night work between Maple Street and Helman Street
· Night work is authorized between the City limits and Maple Street. The contractor must maintain one operable travel lane in each direction during this night work period.
· NO night work on N Main / E Main from Water Street to First Street except between midnight Sunday and 7am Tuesday.
· Night work is authorized on E Main between First and Third Streets for a period not to exceed five consecutive days. The contractor must maintain one operable travel lane in each direction during this night work period.
· Night work is authorized on Lithia Way between Helman and Third Street for a period not to exceed 12 consecutive days. The contractor must maintain one operable travel lane in each direction during this night work period.
· The City with ODOT's concurrence will authorize one lane closure during the morning and evening periods on the section between Maple and Helman Streets. (This allowance is limited to one lane only, not one lane in each direction.)
· It is understood that there will be periods of intermittent intersection closures during the grinding and paving operation and that the contractor will follow safety precautions and notify emergency dispatch during these periods.
Brown explained that noticing to property owners and residences has begun and will continue throughout the project. Morrison commented that the expediency in completing this project is a good plan and out weighs the negative impact to neighborhoods. Hartzell went on record as opposing granting the variance. Reid expressed concern about the economic impact of night work on the lodging industry. Laws noted that the disadvantages of not doing this are greater than nuisances to the neighborhood. Mayor voiced his concern and did not support working at night.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to continue meeting past 10:00 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Laws/Hanson m/s to approve staff recommendation. DISCUSSION: Council further discussed the impacts of night work on the community and the possibility of flexibility in scheduling. City Attorney Paul Nolte noted, that the City is immune from liability in this decision, as it is a discretionary decision. Voice Vote: Laws, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn, YES; Reid and Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
3. Joint Presentation by Department of Environmental Quality regarding Water Quality in Urban Streams, and by Rogue Valley Council of Governments regarding Storm Water Management.
Postponed to May 7, 2002, Council meeting.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading of "An Ordinance Adding Section 11.24.020.H to the Ashland Municipal Code to Prohibit Trucks and Buses from Idling while Parked."
City Administrator Greg Scoles recommended a change to the ordinance to exempt mass transit when related to "lifts" and is in compliance with Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requirement.
Hanson/Laws m/s to move this to second reading with the understanding that the staff recommended change would be incorporated. Discussion: Council discussed wording issues. Hanson amended motion to change, under subsection H, number 1, "3" minutes to "5" minutes and under subsection H, number 5, add the word "construction," before "and." Roll Call vote: Morrison, Hanson, Laws, Hearn, Reid, Hartzell. All Ayes. Motion passed.
2. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Youth Liaison Members to the Bicycle and Pedestrian, Historic, Traffic Safety, and Tree Commissions."
Council briefly discussed various aspects of adding Youth liaison members to the various Committees and Commissions. The following was noted, high turnover rate, the need to not limit inclusiveness of opportunity, hindsight on past efforts to include youth, limit appointments to high school students in leadership roles, and the appearance of preferential treatment.
Discussion was tabled by the council due to lack of time.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adding Youth Liaison Members to the Conservation, Forest Lands and Housing Commissions and the Senior Program Board."
The item was tabled by the council due to lack of time.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City of Ashland, Oregon, declaring official intent to reimburse expenditures."
Councilors Hanson/Morrison m/s to approve Resolution #2002-07. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Laws, Hearn, Morrison and Hanson, YES. Councilor Hartzell was out of the room. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS (None)
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.