MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 4, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn were present. Councilor Jackson was absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 21, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor read aloud proclamation recognizing Flag Day on June 14, 2002.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Morrison requested that the minutes of the AFN Committee meeting provide further information on what took place at the meeting.
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing to consider adoption of Fiscal Year 2002-2003 Budget.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg briefly explained the 2002-2003 Budget adoption process.
Public Hearing Open: 7:08 p.m.
Richard Seidman/924 Garden Way/Housing Commissioner/Requested funds to support a temporary contracted position to help implement the Affordable Housing Action Plan. He suggested decreasing the amount budgeted for maintenance of Ashland School District grounds and speculated that the $40,000 invested in contracted position might generate 5 to 10 times that amount for affordable housing.
Andy Dungan/260 Meadow Way/Housing Commissioner/Noted the complexity of the issue and how this position would coordinate various agencies in order to secure funding. He felt that there were many ways Council policy making could help address housing needs. He noted tremendous community support for affordable housing solutions and asked for funding for a contracted position.
Jonathon Uto/1401 Oregon Street #1097/Housing Commissioner/Read a letter submitted by Housing Commissioner Diane Shavey commenting on Ashland's affordable housing needs. Shavey requested that $40,000 from the general budget contingency be allocated for a contract position dedicated to housing needs and implementation of the Housing Action Plan.
Sid Field/525 Tucker Street/Shared his experience as a Council member in another community. He believes that Council members are there to listen, to do the people's work, to strive to spend the public dollar in the most prudent and efficient manner, and not close off debate or move forward personal agendas. He stated dissatisfaction with some current Council attitudes concerning the Budget, and suggested various ways to save costs, including outsourcing staff positions.
Peter Finkle/785 Beach Street/Presented a request by Michael Donovan for approval of $35,000 for one year of free Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) bus service within the city. He suggested a couple of ways to fund the request.
John Freedom/442 Holly/Suggested that if Council considers approval of $35,000 in funding for free bus service that RVTD be required to provide additional information so an effective decision could be made based on community demographics.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:42 p.m.
Mayor DeBoer noted that he received nine communications from citizens requesting a housing contract position be funded. Laws clarified that his comments reported in the local newspaper were not presented in the way he meant them.
Council discussed the addition of a contract Housing position and possible methods of funding. It was agreed that a housing coordinator position could help in securing funding, grant writing efforts, and coordinating various agencies and departments. Comment was made that adequate budget information had not been provided by the Parks Department regarding the $205,000 budgeted for school ground maintenance. It was clarified that that funding was not to create more park land, but to save and maintain park land. Concern was voiced over justification of the amount budgeted for maintenance of school grounds, noting that the Parks Department should be requested to do with less as other city departments are being requested to do.
Council discussed the feasability of funding free RVTD service within Ashland. It was suggested that with the amount of streetwork taking place, a creative plan for increasing bus ridership was needed. The possiblility of funding the service thru Transportation Utility Fee increases was suggested. It was clarified that the bus service plan could be terminated at any time if it was determined that the program was not working
The Council discussed directing staff to bring back a budget providing $75,000 in funding for the proposed programs. Tuneberg explained that there are various ways to fund both items, and suggested that the best way would be by appropriations from the General Fund and the Street Fund. Tuneberg recommended the Council appropriate $40,000 from the General Fund and $35,000 from the Street Fund.
Councilors Hearn/Reid m/s to approve Resolution 2002-14 with amendment to include appropriations of $40,000 from the General Fund for the contract Housing Coordinator position and $35,000 from the Street Fund for the proposed RVTD free bus service. DISCUSSION: It was noted that transportation planning is being developed which would help deterimine transportation needs. It was suggested that night and weekend bus service be considered. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hartzell, Hearn, Morrison and Reid, YES. Motion passed.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance adopting a new Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance Chapter 18.61 of the Ashland Municipal Code."
Community Development Director, John McLaughlin, provided information on the amendment to section 18.61.080.B.3 which would clarify and make the section more objective. He noted that it addresses needs expressed by both the community and the Tree Commission.
Council requested clarification of City Attorney Paul Nolte's changes to Section 18.61.080.B.3. Nolte explained that within 200 feet of the property's boundaries the density and diversity of surrounding properties would have to be taken into consideration. He noted that this is not clearly objective and each issue would have to be analyzed for the lot and every surrounding lot in question. He noted that an arborist would not be needed for these determinations. The use of the word "diversity," was questioned. Notlte clarified that "species diversity," was what was meant.
John Freedom/442 Holly Street/Stated that the ordinance originally came about as a result of the failure of the Planning Commission and the Council to stand behind the policy and rules of the Comprehensive Plan. He suggested that the proposed ordinance will create hurdles for developers and that these developers will find ways around these hurdles, putting us back where we began. He requested that the Council challenge City Commissions to look at, and to operate in accordance with, the policies and goals of the Comprehensive Plan when considering development matters.
Council discussed various issues concerning the tree ordinance. It was remarked that a subsidy would be required to fund the ordinance as fees would not cover administration and staff costs. It was countered that there would be tangible value to the community for funds spent on subsidizing the ordinance. Mayor noted that enforcement could take a vast amount of staff time including possible litigation, and that interpretation of the ordinance may become a problem. It was suggested that tree density and canopy is not the problem in the community, but rather the preservation of certain trees. Hearn noted that trees have been going down since the ordinance was proposed and that more will go down before the ordinance is in effect. It was suggested that the wording concerning chainlink fencing be changed to "fencing sufficient to protect the tree," and emergency clause be added to make the ordinance effective tonight. The need for the chainlink fencing required by the ordinance was questioned.
McLaughlin explained that chainlink fencing would be easier for staff to enforce, which would result greater protection for trees.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to adopt the second reading of the ordinance and to include: staff recommended wording changes; addition of the word "species" before "diversity" in Section 18.61.080.B.3; to add an emergency clause, and after "a person who desires to remove a tree" in Section 18.61.042, insert, ", not otherwise exempted in 18.61.035,". Discussion: Council questioned what the community has been told regarding when this ordinance would go into effect. McLaughlin clarified that information given out by staff is that the ordinance goes into effect 30 days after adoption at second reading. Reid noted reluctance to mislead the public in regards to the effective date.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to amend motion to remove the emergency clause. Voice vote: All Ayes. Motion passed. Council requested that the public not panic and cut down trees, but to look carefully at the ordinance as it does not impact many single family residents.
Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Reid, Hartzell, Hearn, Laws, and Morrison. All AYES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution adopting building valuation data for purposes of issuing building permits."
McLaughlin explained that the cost of building permits is based on the valuation of the structure and a standard table is used to detirmine those values. He noted the the tables in use at this time are 1994 valuations and this Resolution would update the tables to 2000 valuations. He noted that this change of valuation would increase revenues and generate funds needed to cover costs and match the true value of the service. He estimated that the over-all increase in revenue would be in the range of 15%.
Council discussed the issue. It was wondered how this might impact affordable housing. It was clarified that on an average house, fees would increase about $750.
Councilors Hearn/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2002-10. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Morrison, Reid, Hartzell and Hearn. 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."
Hartzell voiced her desire to discuss this proposal at a Council study session. It was noted that any one over 18 can already serve on committees and commissions, and that across the nation, youth commissions have not been successful.
Jonathon Uto/1401 Oregon Street, #1097/Voiced support for including youth in commissons and suggested that it takes a 20 year-old to represent the interests of someone who is 20 years old. He suggested that having ex-officio non-voting youth members would allow participation at a level that would protect the integrity of the commissions while allowing increased learning opportunities for students.
Rich Whitall/350 B Street/Noted that he represents the Tree Commission regarding this issue and requested further clarification on the role of proposed youth liaisons. He stated that all members, including young community members, should have voting rights - and to do otherwise suggests mistrust.
Council discussed the issue. Morrison and Hearn both agreed that they could not support the proposed ordinance if youth were not allowed voting rights. It was also noted that the way the proposals were worded, any college students could be Youth Liaisons, not just young college students. It was noted that often commissions reach consensus rather than put issues to vote. It was noted that people of most ages don't partipate in the political process, let alone youth.
Item moved to Study Session.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adding Youth Liaison Members to the Conservation, Forest Lands and Housing Commissions and the Senior Program Board."
Item moved to Study Session.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Transferring Appropriations within the 2001-2002 Budget."
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2002-11. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn. All AYES. Motion passed.
6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution certifying city provides sufficient municipal services to qualify for state subventions."
It was clarified that "subventions" are grants and aid that communities receive from the State.
Councilors Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2002-12. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Morrison, Hartzell, Reid and Laws. All AYES. Motion passed.
7. Reading by title only of "A Resolution declaring the City's election to receive State Revenues."
Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2002-13. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Hearn, Hartzell, Morrison and Laws. All AYES. Motion passed.
8. First reading of "An Ordinance levying taxes for period July 1, 2002 to and including June 30, 2003, such taxes in the sum of $7,762,000 upon all the real and personal property subject to assessment and levy within the corporate limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon."
Councilors Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and move to second reading. Discussion: Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hartzell, Hearn, Morrison and Reid. All AYES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
1. Request from Councilor Hartzell for update on status of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) I-5 improvements.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to extend meeting to 10:30pm. Voice Vote. All AYES. Motion passed.
Hartzell explained that citizen questions have been received concerning rerouting of traffic as reported in the Ashland Daily Tidings. City Administrator, Greg Scoles, clarified that some community members who read the article questioned if Interstate 5 traffic might be rerouted through town. Public Works Director, Paula Brown, explained that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) verbally asked to reroute only wide loads during work on the bridge, and that as yet there has been no formal request. She noted that typical wide load movement occurs during odd hours and at the rate of 0 to 3 loads per day. Reid asked if tall loads would be included in rerouting. Brown clarified that ODOT is asking only to reroute wide loads, and that possible routes through town are being investigated.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:12pm.