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Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Electronic Tree Commission Meeting

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Ashland Tree Commission
August 5, 2021


Call to Order
Commission Chair Chris John called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm via Zoom
Commissioners Present:
Christopher John              
Asa Cates           
Vacancy #3         
Eric Simpson       
Vacancy #5        
Cat Gould            
Vacancy #7
Council Liaison:
Stephen Jensen  (ABS)
  Park Liaison:
Peter Baughman
  Staff Present:
Aaron Anderson, Associate Planner
Approval of Minutes
Commissioners Eric Simpson / Chris John m/s to approve the minutes of July 8, 2021. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passed
Public Forum
There was no one in the audience wishing to speak.
Liaison Reports
Parks & Recreation Liaison – Peter gave a brief summary about the oak tree that failed in Lithia Park
Community Development Liaison – Aaron updated current status of city buildings and commission meetings. Also mentioned the letter that was received from Congress.
Type I Reviews
PLANNING ACTION: PA-TREE-2021-00158     
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 2181 Birchwood St.
OWNER/APPLICANT: Geri Esposito and Jack Defonatine
DESCRIPTION: A request to remove two Linden trees at the property located at 2181 Birchwood St. One tree is located in the front of the home approximately 8.5’ from the foundation, the other is located along the side of the house and is 3.5’ from the house. The applicant lists a number of reasons to request the removal including that the trees are a nuisance but also that their location to the foundation of the house is likely to cause ‘issues with the foundation.’
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Multi Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; MAP: 39 1E 11 CC; TAX LOT: 1700
Staff briefly presented the application. Cates asked why this application was before us, Anderson explained that because the subdivision is attached duplexes the single-family exemption did not apply. A commissioner asked if there was any evidence of damage to the foundation, Anderson explained that for that reason the application was noticed with both Hazard and non-hazard criteria to allow them to consider either choice. Gould said that she felt that many of the reason put forth to justify the removal did not appear to be valid reasons but mentioned that she was unfamiliar with the droppings from the trees. There was discussion of the applicability of the Tree that is not a hazard. Cates stated that the tree alongside the house is close enough to reasonably presume that it may cause issues to the hazard.
Commissioners Asa Cates / Cat Gould M/S to approve the application as submitted with the understanding the removal will be mitigated with a smaller stature tree. Motion passed 3-0
PLANNING ACTION: PA-TREE-2021-00159 [changed order due to lack of representation]
OWNER/APPLICANT: Verity Construction
DESCRIPTION: A request to approve a modification to an earlier land use approval to acknowledge the removal of a tree that was scheduled for protection during a Physical and Environmental Constraints Review Permit for Hillside Development (see PA-T1-2019-00083). During the inspection for the Certificate of Occupancy staff noted that the tree had been removed. This process is to document the removal and to ensure that a proper mitigation tree is planted.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5; MAP: 39 1E 15 BB; TAX LOT: 8700
Staff briefly presented the application and explained that the protection of this tree was probably not realistice when considering the robustness for a pine to survive construction activities. Cates felt that he didn’t feel that additional mitigation is required if they have in fact planted the trees.
Commissioners Cat Gould / Eric Simpson M/S to approve the application contingent upon confirmation of the mitigation planting.  Motion passed 3-0
PLANNING ACTION: PA-TREE-2021-00160     
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1675 Ashland St.
OWNER: ColumbiaCare Rogue Ridge Apartments LLC
APPLICANT: Kerry KenCairn
DESCRIPTION:  A request for approval to remove a single bigleaf maple (acer macrophyllum) at the property address as 1675 Ashland St. The tree had previously been approved for protection associated with the Site Design Review approving the ColumbiaCare housing project (Identified as Tree #5 on the approved plans). The application states that the tree is 13’ from the edge of the building footing but the canopy overhangs the building envelope and would be in conflict with the 3rd floor.
Staff briefly presented the background on the application including the previous removal that was removed in July. Kerry Kencairn was present to represent the application and mentioned that this side of the property already has several mature trees and that this one honestly shouldn’t have been identified for protection. She explained that this tree is lopsided enough and leaning significantly that attempting to address the conflict through pruning would result in a very poor looking tree. Katherine and Colin Paris at 477 Lit Way who are neighbor wanted to speak concerned about losing the privacy. Expressed concerned that the NE of the lot was not planned to be planted enough. They also expressed concern that there is a cascading affect as this is another tree removal. Kerry replied saying that there would not be a cascading affect as she wouldn’t allow it.
Commissioners Eric Simpson/ Asa Cates M/S to approve the application as submitted as submitted with a condition that an additional small stature tree be added to the planting plan in the NE corner.  Motion passes 3-0
Type II Reviews
PLANNING ACTION: PA-T2-2021-00029                         
APPLICANT/OWNER: Suzanne Zapf for Overlook Drive, LLC                    
DESCRIPTION: A request for Outline and Final Plan approval for a five-lot/four-unit Performance Standards subdivision for the properties located at 822 Oak Street.  The application also includes requests for: a Variance to allow a private driveway to serve four units (AMC where dedication of a public street is typically required; a Conditional Use Permit to modify a non-conforming development where the required driveway separation is not provided for an avenue (AMC, an Exception to Street Standards to not install city standard street frontage improvements along Oak Street, and a Street Tree Removal Permit to remove three Oak trees. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: R-1-5; ZONING: Single Family Residential; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 04CA; TAX LOT: 200 & 201
Staff briefly presented the application, and Amy Gunter represented the application and gave a brief slide show showing the three oak trees proposed to be removed as well, those to be retained and discussed the proposed tree protection plan.
[in the middle of the presentation Chis John had to leave, still had a quorum with three]
Following Ms. Gunter presentation commissioners asked questions clarifying the location of the driveway as it related to the trees proposed to be removed. At the conclusion of the applicant presentation Risa Buck who had contacted staff ahead of time wished to speak against the removal of two of the oaks. Ms. Buck also had complaints about trees of heaven that have been removed and caused multitudes of saplings to spring up on her property. Ms. Buck said that the trees that were removed ranged between 8-16 inches, despite the fact that the applicant claimed that those that were removed were below the threshold. Ms. Buck concluded by stating that these trees ought to be saved. Ms. Gunter on rebuttal cited the professional arborist opinion that was included in the application. The public hearing was closed and the tree commission deliberated. Cates said that oaks do not tolerate construction well, and that he trusted Mr. Oxidine’s opinion. Peter felt that he thought that the Oak in the middle appeared to be in decent shape, and that the northern one looked alright, but that the southern one clearly needs to be removed. Cates stated that the middle oak may be worth preserving, but that the excavation may significantly affect it.
Commissioners Cat Gould / Asa Cates M/S to approve the application with the condition that the project arborist monitor the protected trees for their health during the project and that three oak trees be mitigated by planting three replacement large stature oaks prior to completion of the project. Motion passed 3-0
PLANNING ACTION: PA-T3-2021-00003                        
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 192 North Mountain Avenue                     
OWNER: The Hodgins Family Trust / The Mary G. Walter Living Trust
DESCRIPTION:  A request for annexation of 7.9 acres and Outline Plan approval for a 52-unit residential subdivision for the property located at 192 North Mountain Avenue.  With annexation, 7.9 acres of the ten-acre property would be brought into the city with R-1-5 Single Family Residential zoning, and the entire ten-acres would be subdivided to create 52 residential lots and eight common areas.  The application also includes requests for an Exception to Street Standards to not install a parkrow planting strip with street trees on the proposed bridge over Beach Creek; a Limited Activities & Uses Permit to install a bridge over Beach Creek in order to provide street connectivity to North Mountain Avenue; and a Tree Removal Permit to remove four of the site’s 25 trees. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single Family Residential; ZONING: Existing – City R-1-5 & County RR-5, Proposed – City R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10; TAX LOT #’s: 800 
Staff briefly presented the application and turned the presentation over the Mark Knox and Tom Madara. Mr. Knox discussed how the subdivision was designed around large oak tree to the south of the farmhouse. The main road entering the subdivision goes through the two most major trees on the site with enough room that neither should be affected. The proposal only includes four trees that are in poor enough health or location that their removal is required. Mr. Knox discussed the extensive landscaping plan and the number of plants and trees to be included. Tom Madara. Ms. Fallon was present but did not wish to speak but was curious about a question that had been submitted by Sue Whitman. Staff was unaware of the question. Mr. Knox was aware of the inquiry and replied …
The public hearing was closed and the tree commission began their deliberation. Cates stated that this is a large development with only a request to remove 4 trees, and when considering the replacement plantings this is very pro tree. Gould stated that she was happy to see the creek preservation and that she thought this was good project.
Commissioners Asa Cates/ Eric Simpson M/S to approve the application as submitted. Motion passed 3-0
Street Tree Removal Permits
622 S Mountain – Applicant Public Works: 2 non-hazard street tree removals to allow for emergency on-ramp. The project was only briefly discussed, there was unanimous approval that it was a necessity.
Staff request unanimous consent, no objection.
Adjournment:   Meeting adjourned at 8:06p.m.          Next Meeting:  September 9, 2021
Respectfully submitted by Liz Hamilton

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