MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 6, 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, Jackson and Morrison were present. Councilor Hearn was absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 16, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing regarding consideration of potential sale of real property at 667 North Main Street.
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained that this action would authorize the City Administrator to take all action necessary to market and sell the "Bryant" property located at 667 North Main Street and to ensure that the net proceeds of the sale would reimburse the Open Space Fund. The property is appraised at $250,000 and if the proposed sale price is less than the appraised price the issue would come back to Council of further action. It was estimated that the probable sale price would be more than the appraised value.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:05 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:05 p.m.
Hartzell questioned if the appraised price incorporated the possibility of an easement to protect the site's Bay Laurel tree. It was clarified that it did not, and that the city is unsure at this point, how to best preserve the tree.
PUBLIC HEARING re-OPENED: 7:13 p.m.
Ron Roth/6950 Hwy 99 South/Expressed firm support of the City selling this property to the Community Land Trust for affordable housing development. He suggested two choices in dealing with this property: 1.) Sell, and use the money to buy more parklands, or, 2.) Keep the property, and work with the Land Trust and Housing Commission to create 8 to 12 units of affordable housing.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:15 p.m.
It was noted that the Council had directed the Parks Commission and the Land Trust Commission to negotiate with one another and try to come up with a way of using this land. But, after more than a year they had failed to come to an agreement. It was explained that the Land Trust needed property where they could have at least 3 lots in order to be eligible for grant monies. The position of the Parks Commission was that as stewards of the Open Space Plan, they were required to get back as much money as possible for property purchased by Open Space Funds.
Nolte noted that under the City Charter, Open Space Funds could only be used to purchase Open Space property. If a portion of an Open Space property, purchased with Open Space Funds, were not utilized as Open Space, then the funds associated would need to be reimbursed to the Open Space Fund. He explained that a parcel could not be "given" for affordable housing, but would have to be "sold" for affordable housing.
Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to direct staff to move forward in selling at the highest possible price, and if possible, to take steps to provide an easement to protect the Bay tree. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Public Hearing to consider modifying Chapter 18.52 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Concrete and Asphalt Batch or Mixing Plants.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin reported that during the past year the City had approved a request for an Asphalt Batch Plant on Mistletoe Road in order to support road construction work on Interstate 5. Several complaints were received regarding operation of the plant, primarily regarding odors and emissions. Review by the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) found that the plant was operating in compliance with all regulations. The Council, in order to ensure that future approvals have greater discretionary review, had requested Staff to modify the Ordinance to change such plants from an outright permitted use to a conditional use.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:25 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:25 p.m.
First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.52 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Concrete and Asphalt Batch or Mixing Plants."
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to approve first reading and move forward to second reading of ordinance. Discussion: Reid noted that this is an important step in giving neighbors a voice in their neighborhoods. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Jackson and Morrison, YES. Motion passed.
3. Public Hearing to consider modifying Chapter 18.16 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Allowing Accessory Residential Units as a Conditional Use in the RR-.5 Zone, and Chapter 18.14 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Allowing Accessory Residential Units as a Conditional Use in the WR Zone.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin announced that in regards to the WR zone, there were recommendations from the Planning Commission done at the public hearing but it was not noticed as a separate ordinance item. Because of that, the issue of the WR zone needs to go back to the Planning Commission.
McLaughlin reported that accessory units have been an effective tool for providing a different style of housing and meet some needs for affordable housing, addressing growth and in-fill needs. In 1991, accessory units were excluded from the RR.5 zone due to environmental and density concerns. Since then, requests for accessory units have been received from property owners in RR.5 zones. The proposed changes to the ordinance outline additional criteria to be met for accessory units in RR.5 zones, including setbacks, maximum gross habitable floor area (GHFA), parking, slope, sprinkler systems, and streets. He estimated that the number of accessory units in the RR.5 zone would be small, fewer than 20. He recommended that Council approve the Staff's recommendations regarding the RR.5 zoning and to send the WR zoning back to the Planning Commission.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:35 p.m.
Karen Darling/490 Strawberry Lane/Encouraged the Council to pass this ordinance, noting neighborhood support. She explained that accessory units help meet affordable housing needs, solve problems for the elderly and ill, and meet in-fill needs.
Thomas Heumann/585 Orchard Street/Shared his perspective that neighborhoods, which grow rather like an organism, do not conform to the kind of strict order imposed by the boundaries of zoning, and that the ordinance change would provide a softer transition between zones. He noted that in-fill is a "good thing."
Marilyn Briggs/590 Glenview Drive/Noted that she is the one who brought up the inclusion of the WR zone to the Planning Commission. She asked the Council to pass the WR zone ordinance. She read aloud a paragraph from the publication, "Alternatives to Growth," pertaining to the need for in-fill.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:40 p.m.
McLaughlin commented that with the small number of predicted accessory units, the over-all impact to sensitive hillside areas would be negligible. Reid commented that accessory units that have been built in steep areas have been rented out at substantially lower rents, that much of the area under discussion is close to Ashland's core area, and felt that this is a step forward in addressing affordable housing. Morrison favored allowing the change in RR.5 zones but excluding changes in the WR zones. He questioned if language could be added to Subsection 5 to prevent the possibility of an accessory unit becoming a main dwelling.
Hartzell commented that the principles behind in-fill are not met by this sort of conversion zoning, that affordable housing needs would not be addressed, and that residents of those areas knew when they purchased their property that accessory units were not allowed. McLaughlin clarified that while the potential number of units is high, very few are probable. Laws commented that there would be very few accessory units built because most people don't really want other people living that close to them unless there is a real need to do so. He felt there would be no negative impact to the City.
First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.16 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Allowing Accessory Residential Units as a Conditional Use in the RR-.5 Zone."
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve first reading and move forward to second reading of the ordinance. Discussion: Morrison asked staff to look at the wording of subsection 5 with the intent to prevent loopholes. It was noted that the size of accessory units is limited to 1000 square feet. Hartzell asked staff to bring back the number of parcels that this would affect, and noted her opposition because she values the principles behind in-fill and the goals in the Comprehensive Plan. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Jackson, Reid and Laws, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.14 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Allowing Accessory Residential Units as a Conditional Use in the WR Zone."
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to direct staff not to pursue this further. DISCUSSION: Laws noted that he would rather see this go back to the Planning Commission and be done correctly. Reid concurred and noted that she would be interested in finding out how many parcels this would affect. Morrison noted that the Planning Commission did review this and it is a technicality that Council is not moving ahead on it. He noted that Staff did not make a recommendation in regards to the WR Zone. Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Morrison, Hartzell, YES; Laws, Reid, NO. Motion passed 3-2.
Reading by title only of "A Resolution Supporting the establishment of a process by the Public Utility Commission to determine a Regional Extended Area Service Rate for Southern Oregon."
Representative Alan Bates spoke, noting that this resolution asks for support on a study to gather information to determine the costs for an extended phone area. It is not asking for a commitment to move forward, but rather, it is an opportunity to gather information. He noted that this study will go forward and strongly recommended that Ashland be a part of that study.
Bates noted that the PUC would make the final decision but that input from local communities is vital. He noted that the key question is what the actual cost to rate payers would be. He commented that while they don't know what rates would be until the study is done, it could be expected that a city the size of Ashland might see a $.40 to $.50 rate increase. Laws stated neutrality on this issue, explaining that the majority of Ashland residents would not save $6.00 per year on the calls they make beyond Medford, but it would be of advantage to schools, government, and some businesses. Bates noted that there are advantages even to people who do not make long distance phone calls. Reid noted that this would be beneficial to many persons in Ashland, but the greatest benefit would be in the school districts and government because everyone pays those bills.
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to support Resolution #2002-25, supporting the establishment of a process by the Public Utility Commission to determine a Regional Extended Area Service Rate for Southern Oregon. DISCUSSION: Bates explained that a community can opt-out but it would not be done by the City Council, but that the ratepayers would do it themselves, by vote or by group meetings. It was commented that this issue was citizen initiated, but the agenda and the process is controlled by the PUC. Morrison noted that the Rogue Valley Council of Governments supports communities sending a designated representative to participate in the meetings. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Jackson, Reid, YES; Laws, Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 3-2.
Kate Balcolm/259 Bridge/Spoke regarding extreme, out of control 4th of July celebrations that occur yearly on her street. She noted the mob mentality of revelers and the setting off of legal and illegal fireworks without regard to children or safety. She requested that the City address the problem of protecting citizens, children, and property.
Kasey Acker/318 Bridge Street/Spoke regarding unsafe 4th of July activities on her street, noting that when she first moved there she went to the police and fire departments for help and was told she needed to bring the issue to the Council. She noted that Bridge Street celebrations are setting the precedent in regards to behavior and fireworks, and this has been going on for many years.
Joanie McGowan/138 N 2nd Street/Member of Chamber of Commerce 4th of July Committee, noted that the subject of Bridge Street came up at each meeting. Her feeling was that at the meetings it was accepted that is was an out-of-control mob situation and that the police could have no influence on. At Committee meetings it was called a "war zone." She stated that this is unacceptable and we owe it to the neighborhood to try to do something about the situation early.
Elizabeth Bretko/1372 Oregon Street/Stated that she was insulted that citizens intending to speak at the public forum were made to wait while Alan Bates was allowed to speak out of order of the agenda. She spoke regarding the Mt Ashland Ski expansion and how this decision would affect this area forever.
Joshua Maltsberger/PO Box 386 Williams, OR/Spoke against the Mt Ashland Ski expansion and is a defender of old growth timber. Does not believe that the timber industry is a "friend" to the community. It is his opinion, in regards to timber activity; numbers do not support harvesting of old growth forest and believes that it is a ploy to take advantage of communities.
Tom Emsheimer/2799 Siskiyou Blvd/Suggests looking at Mt Ashland and thinking of how many toilets are flushing in the headwaters of our watershed. He encouraged the Council and the community to become active in issues affecting our watershed.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Gave brief history on the development of Mt Ashland Ski and season profit/loss information over the period of 1997 through 2001. Stated that there has not been a profitable season since 1997 and noted the poor condition current development. He questioned why, with many critical issues in the City, the City subsidizes Mt. Ashland via $142,000 in non-cash contributions.
Peggy Savage/202 Oaklawn/Spoke in opposition to the Mt. Ashland expansion. She explained that she has worked as a stream surveyor for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and has seen what streams look like after timber extraction. She noted that logging in headwaters greatly impacts streams and water quality.
Liz Crosson/85 Emerick Street "B"/Spoke against the Mt. Ashland expansion noting the poor condition of current improvements, archaic erosion controls, and suggested that it is in our best interests to have an area that respects our watershed. She encouraged the Council to listen to alternatives that will be brought before the Council at tomorrow's study session.
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith/Spoke in opposition to the Mt. Ashland expansion. He encouraged the Council to remain open to alternatives to the expansion, noting the importance of protecting our watershed. He offered thanks to Adroit Construction for efforts in recycling siding from the public library.
1. Sidewalk Discussion within the Strawberry Lane Local Improvement District.
Public Works Director Paula Brown reviewed the sidewalk design for the Strawberry Lane LID, including width variances and locations. Specifically, Staff recommends changing to a 3-foot sidewalk on Scenic at Strawberry for about 150 feet where there are 2 major curves, and for the entire upper Nutley section. The sidewalk on Nutley has been shortened to 190 feet and ends at the Khan driveway. This reduces impact on several larger trees that have been of concern of neighbors. She noted that Staff supports the need of sidewalks to ensure the safety of pedestrians and recommended Council retain the sidewalks as shown on the 95% design and to proceed to the bids and construction.
Patricia Zolene/240 Nutley Street/Reiterated her position from the last Council meeting for no sidewalks in the upper Nutley area. She submitted a statement from neighbors opposing sidewalks on upper Nutley due to safety issues. She commented on confused information published by the Medford Tribune and read a follow-up statement she had prepared to clarify issues regarding her opposition to sidewalks on upper Nutley.
Reid commented that it is not the Council's position to design this area for the current property owners, but to allow the area to be designed for future growth and development which includes all the safety issues and concerns for traffic and pedestrians. She felt that a sidewalk is a reasonable inclusion for this area.
Councilors Hartzell/Laws m/s to accept the sidewalks as proposed on the section of Scenic and to eliminate the sidewalk above Alnutt on Nutley. DISCUSSION: Brown clarified that for safety sake sidewalks are important and that by going halfway up Nutley all but 2 driveways are served. Laws noted that while we need to be careful with making exceptions, that the potential of someone being hurt due to lack of sidewalks in this area is minimal. Jackson commented that when sidewalks are eliminated pedestrians are penalized in favor of vehicles, and stated her favor of retaining sidewalks. Hartzell noted her opposition to sidewalks on upper Nutley. Morrison supported Staff's plan noting that it protects the ambience of the neighborhood while looking towards the future. Roll Call vote: Laws, Hartzell, YES; Reid, Jackson, Morrison, NO. Motion failed 3 to 2.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to accept staff proposal as presented. Roll Call vote: Laws, Reid, Jackson, Morrison, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4 to 1.
2. Siskiyou Boulevard and Ashland Street Bid Results.
Public Works Director Paula Brown provided Siskiyou and Ashland Street Project bid analysis and financing options. She noted that LTM, Inc. was the only bidder and that the bid had come in significantly higher than anticipated. The City is about $1,000,000 short of what was projected in April. Staff met with LTM to discuss areas that appeared to be in conflict with anticipated costs and to discuss areas in which savings might be realized without jeopardizing the integrity of the project. She recommended direction to continue negotiations with LTM and awarding the project to LTM if agreement could be reached and funding availability understood, and she requested direction to review additional funding options with ODOT.
Brown offered suggestions for potential savings through design scope changes, such as landscaping options, hauling, and recycling asphalt, noting that these changes would not affect the look or safety of the projects. Reid did not support hauling asphalt and concrete for recycling to the City's present site. She asked that staff bring back alternatives to the use of this site, and clarification on the relationship between the City and the Parks Department in regards to this property.
Brown explained, in regards to re-bidding the project, that the size of the project precludes smaller companies from bidding, but doesn't attract bids from larger companies. She noted that this job was widely advertised, and unless significant design changes were made it would be 6 months before it could again be put out for bid. She noted that LTM does not bid the landscaping, and we have 4 to 5 bids for the landscaping, all of which came in under the engineer estimates.
Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to ask Staff to investigate, and bring back to Council, alternatives to the current site the City uses to dump asphalt, and that Council may authorize additional funds. DISCUSSION: Brown stated that she would like to get the contract negotiated and started. That she could bring back to the Council the issue regarding asphalt dumping before this phase in the project begins, and that she would look into alternatives to the City's present site. Brown emphasized that it would be difficult to keep the project moving if Council imposes conditions at this point. Voice Vote: Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison - NO; Laws, Reid - YES. Motion failed 3-2.
Hartzell/Reid m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to direct staff not to go back out to bid, but to engage in negotiations consistent with the plan presented, continue with ODOT, and investigate alternatives for the asphalt dumping. DISCUSSION: Brown noted that this project has a budget implication to the City of Ashland of roughly $500,000. Reid noted her support, because aside from a few issues of concern, we are close to getting something that we want. Voice Vote: Hartzell - NO, Laws, Reid, Morrison, Jackson - YES. Motion passed 4-1.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Consideration of a recommendation from the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission to purchase property for Open Space/Park Land on Nevada Street.
Director of Parks & Recreation Ken Mickelsen and Community Development Director John McLaughlin briefly explained that this is a request to approve and authorize the City Administrator to execute purchase of this property for Open Space/Park Land. McLaughlin explained that the parcel is predominately in the flood plain and presently has one house on it. A portion can be split off for a buildable parcel and then the majority of the land would be retained for Open Space lands. The buildable parcel would be sold. He noted that the public hearing with the Planning Commission is scheduled for September.
Jack Blackburn/805 Oak Street/Shared his conflicts in regards to the sale of this property to the City. He stated that the City is spending a lot of money for parks when we should be living within our means. He said he would rather see the money used to try to get housing for people who can't afford to live here. He felt that the City is raising the cost of living in our community and forcing many residents out.
It was clarified that the money to purchase this property would be from the Meals Tax collected and that the sale of the buildable parcel would also fund the acquisition. Rick Landt, Chair of the Parks Commission, noted that the Commission unanimously approved the purchase of this property. In his opinion it makes sense because money available at this time is insufficient to buy any of the properties on the short-term plan, while the net cost of this property will be very low. He stated that this parcel meets criteria the Commission looks for and if purchase is not completed now it may not be available at a later time.
Councilors Reid/ Laws m/s to approve the Open Space/Park Lands acquisition on Nevada Street. DISCUSSION: It was clarified that the purchase of this property is subject approval of the land being partitioned. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, YES; Morrison, Jackson, NO. Motion passed: 3-2.
2. Review of current city-owned property and discussion of potential funding options for future land acquisition.
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
3. Quitclaim deed to remove easement for underground storage tanks adjacent to Fire Station No. 1.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve. DISCUSSION: It was clarified that the driveway agreement is in place. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Section 13.16.070 of the Ashland Municipal Code to require property owners to remove or trim trees or shrubs endangering utilities."
Item not addressed due to time constraints.
2. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Sections 4.34.050, 4.34.070, 4.34.110, 4.34.120, 4.34.130, and 4.34.140 of the Food and Beverage Tax Code of the City of Ashland to Specify Application of Delinquent Payments, Clarify Appeals and Correct Errors."
Nolte noted that in Section 1A, Section 4.34.060B 30 days has been changed to 60 days, and in Section 2A, Section 4.34.080 15 days has been changed to 30 days.
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to adopt Ordinance 2885. DISCUSSION: Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Jackson, Reid, Laws, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
1. Request from Councilor Hartzell to consider a Resolution which would support modifying ORS 223.299(1) to allow SDC's for Police, Fire, Library and School Facilities.
Issue not addressed due to time constraints.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
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