MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
Ashland City Council
August 20, 2002, 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
ROLL CALL: Councilors Hearn, Jackson, Laws, Hartzell, and Morrison were present. Councilor Reid and Mayor DeBoer were absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The Regular Council Meeting Minutes of August 6, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS: (None)
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve the consent agenda. Voice vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: (None)
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke regarding the Mt Ashland Ski expansion project. He presented a map of an alternative plan that he felt would be both environmentally responsible and fiscally conservative.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Dedication of Public Walkway near OSF New Theater; amendment to OSF Lease.
City Attorney Paul Nolte announced that the map included in the Council packet was incorrect and that he had provided Council with a correct version. He explained that the dedication of the walkway constructed by Oregon Shakespeare Theater (OSF) in conjunction with the construction of the New Theater and Hargadine Parking facility is necessary to allow Earthly Goods to access the walkway from a new addition to the rear of the Fortmiller Building. The dedication of the walkways requires an amendment to the OSF lease.
The Planning Department is processing an application from Earthly Goods to expand the rear of the existing Fortmiller Building, 142 East Main Street, south and up so that it will abut the walkway immediately north of the OSF New Theater. The walkway is currently leased to OSF. Building Code restrictions preclude the full development of the Earthly Goods expansion unless the rear wall to be constructed abuts a public way. By designating the walkway as a public way, Earthly Goods would be able to place doors and windows into the rear wall to allow public access to the new addition. Staff recommended that Council approve a motion to 1) direct staff to prepare a resolution for adoption at a future meeting dedicating the above described walkways for public use, and; 2) authorize the mayor to sign a lease amendment to the OSF lease removing the walkways from the lease.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that OSF paved the area, making it a plaza, and that it would fit with the design of the downtown area for Earthly Goods' expansion to open to this plaza area. At the present time this area serves as a passageway for foot traffic and access for deliveries.
Hartzell questioned the City's liability if this area were dedicated. Nolte explained that in a pure public right of way the liability would be the City's and that right now the liability is OSF's because the area is leased to them. McLaughlin noted that this could be discussed in the lease. Laws noted two advantages of going ahead with this, 1) that the City would be assured that there would be an opening in the back of the addition to Earthly Goods, and; 2) despite liability issues, ownership would give the City greater control over what occurs in this area. He suggested that any lease changes drawn up would include veto power for the City over changes made in this area.
Councilors Hearn/Laws m/s to approve staff recommendation on the dedication of the walkway and amendment to the OSF lease. 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 owner to remove or trim trees or shrubs endangering utilities." (Continued from Council Meeting of August 6, 2002)
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that this Ordinance would allow the City to trim overhanging trees that endanger City utility vehicles. The City's current code addresses this issue by declaring as a nuisance any tree or shrub "which is endangering or which may endanger the security or usefulness of any public street" and allows the City to require the vegetation to be trimmed or removed. The amendment to this adds specific height clearance requirements. Staff recommended that Council approve the first reading of this Ordinance.
Councilor Hearn commented that he had received notice in the past from the City to trim his trees within a certain time or be billed if the City had to do the trimming. He wondered if this would still be the case if this Ordinance were passed. Brown confirmed that notices would still be sent out and that these reminders typically get the job done.
City Recorder Barbara Christensen noted that this is the same noticing process that the fire department uses when there are over-grown lots posing fire hazards.
Councilors Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hartzell, Morrison, Jackson and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.
2. Second 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."
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that Council had approved the first reading of this Ordinance last month and it is now presented for Council approval of second reading. There have been no changes to the Ordinance from the first reading.
Councilors Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve Ordinance #2886. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Laws, Morrison, Jackson, Hartzell: All Ayes. Motion passed.
3. Second 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."
Community Development Director, John McLaughlin, explained that Staff had reviewed the concern raised by the Council at the first reading of the Ordinance regarding accessory units being built on vacant parcels prior to the construction of the primary residence. This has occurred twice under the existing ordinance and in both instances the structures were of appropriate size and scale for the neighborhood. He noted that in Staff's experience this type of thing has been successful and has not resulted in circumvention of the intent of the Ordinance. He commented that it allowed the owners opportunity to move onto the property with affordable living quarters while they then built the primary home. He recommended that the Council approve second reading of the RR-.5 Ordinance.
Councilors Laws/Jackson m/s to adopt Ordinance #2887. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Laws, Jackson and Hearn, YES; Hartzell, NO. Motion passed: 4-1.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS:
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. (Continued from Council Meeting of August 6, 2002)
Hartzell noted that the Council had received, in their packet, a copy of the letter from Oregon Communities for a Voice in Annexations that transmitted the draft resolution, a copy of ORS 223.297-223.314 (System Development Charges) and a Question & Answer Fact Sheet for System Development Charges from the League of Oregon Cities. She noted that the resolution would indicate to the State Legislature that the City would like the opportunity or option of deciding, as a community, whether or not to put SDC's on these services. She asked Staff to take the materials in the packet, put something together that customizes it to Ashland, and then to bring it back on the next agenda for consideration. She suggested, on the draft resolution, leaving out the 7th "Whereas."
Laws suggest the 6th and 7th "Whereas," be left out as they are contrary to what the City is, or is considering, doing. He noted that leaving them out does not affect the overall impact of what this resolution asks for, and that this is something the City of Ashland has been in favor of doing since the beginning. Jackson noted favor of the general idea of the resolution, but questioned the language indicating that it is only new residents who make these SDC's necessary. It was clarified that, legally, this wording must be included because SDC's can only be levied against new growth. Hearn questioned if this might create hurdles for affordable housing. It was noted that Council has the option of waiving or deferring SDC's.
Nolte noted that according to the Secretary of State's interpretation of a State Statute prohibiting public employees from promoting or opposing a measure or a candidate, Staff would be prohibited from taking part in the preparation of this resolution. Council members themselves would have to do the work on this issue. Jackson and Hartzell volunteered to do the work. Laws expressed doubt that this issue should fall under that interpretation as Staff has been responding to legislation affecting the City for many years. Nolte stated that he would seek clarification from the Secretary of State.
Brent Thompson/PO Box 201/Emphasized the importance of cities participating in bringing this issue to the attention of the Legislature, noting that it has been stuck at the committee level for several years. The probability of getting the issue out of committee and put to a vote will increase if municipalities make resolutions such as the one before the Council. He noted that while SDC's lessen the impact of new development, they do not cover all the costs incurred by the additional demands made on infrastructure. He explained that by being able to have control over SDC's cities would come closer to having the reserves to provide for additional police, fire, and school facilities.
There was consensus that Council moves forward on this issue.
2. Councilor Jackson brought forward discussion of the appointment of a City Representative to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) extended area service committee.
Jackson reported that she had attended the recent PUC meeting where discussion was held concerning the study process for establishment of extended area service for the Rogue Valley. She explained that the next step for the Council to take is nomination of a representative for a committee that will work with the PUC over the next few months. She noted that the committee would be formed from only 12 to 15 representatives from an entire area of about 50 communities, so we should at least put our name in the hat. Morrison noted that the representative chosen did not have to be a Councilperson, and that Council needs to move on this quickly.
Councilors Laws/Hartzell m/s to place discussion of appointment of City Representative to the Commission (PUC) Extended Area Service Study Committee on the agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Hartzell expressed willingness to participate and an interest in the activities of the PUC and this issue. Laws expressed reserve over the rate increases Ashland would face if this went through and suggested directing the person who represents us to try to get Ashland excluded from the extended service area. Jackson said that it makes sense to have a regional calling area and that we need to look at the bigger picture. Morrison commented that arguing about rates before the study takes place is an exercise in futility and that we should not tie the hands of the City's delegate in protecting the interests of the City.
Hearn/Jackson m/s that Cate Hartzell serve as the City of Ashland's nominee to the PUC's Extended Area Service Boundary Committee. DISCUSSION: Laws stated that he was not sure the Council could make this appointment as it may be something that must by done by Mayoral appointment. It was determined that in the absence of the Mayor, Morrison is the Acting Mayor and could make the appointment. Morrison suggested the Council direct him to make that appointment. Council so directed.
3. Hartzell brought forward the issue of the PSAP Consolidation Plan.
Hartzell explained that Council had received a Staff memo reporting on plan progress and a proposal from the Police Chief to delay input into the plan until September 17th. She advocated including into the addendum some points of opposition made from other counties. Hearn noted that he did not hear evidence presented that would be detrimental to the Plan.
4. Jackson brought forward the issue of a job description for the upcoming vacancy for the position of City Administrator.
It was explained that the way this had been done in the past was for the Mayor to bring the issue to Council for comment, and that it is the Mayor's responsibility to make the nomination for a new City Administrator. Jackson noted that under the City Charter it is the Council's responsibility to set the job description and qualifications. She questioned what materials we have from the previous search and if we want to use those again or alter them. It was suggested that this discussion should take place when the Mayor and the City Administrator were present. It was further suggested that when Staff brings this issue to a future agenda, material from the last search process be included in the packet. Laws asked that Council be sent a copy of the search brochure that was sent out during the last search.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:22 p.m.
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