Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

November 2, 2004
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Council Chair Cate Hartzell called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present. Mayor DeBoer was absent.

The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 19, 2004 were approved as presented.

Mayor's Proclamation of the week of November 13 - 20, 2004 as Recycling Awareness Week was read aloud.

1.   Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1.  Public Hearing on an Amendment to the Land Use Ordinance Providing for the Establishment of Minimum Densities within the R-2 and R-3 Multi-family Zones.
Housing Program Specialist Brandon Goldman explained that the proposed changes to the R-2 and R-3 zoning ordinances would establish a minimum density of 80% of the existing base densities within the multi-family zones. He noted the dates of the meetings and public hearings held by the Housing and Planning Commissions regarding this issue and stated that both Commissions recommended that the Council approve of the ordinance changes. It was noted that the Housing Commission suggested several exceptions to the ordinance, which are included in the Council Packet. Mr. Goldman clarified that the proposed ordinance change would help to ensure that Ashland's multi-family zoned lands are developed in accordance with the intended density set forth in Ashland's Comprehensive Plan. Staff recommended that the Council accept the Housing and Planning Commission's recommendation and approve of the ordinance change.

A brief history on the inventory of multi-family zoned lands was made, and it was noted that as time has progressed this land has been consumed. Community Development Director John McLaughlin noted that Staff was looking into the North Normal area to increase densities that would accommodate additional multi-family zoned lands to satisfy the City's inventory needs.

Mr. Goldman clarified that Exception #3 would apply when half of a property is occupied by a conditional use within the zone (travel accommodations or a church for example) and the other portion is otherwise readily developable. Because there would be an existing impact of that higher intensity use on one portion, it might be appropriate to reduce the number of units built on the other half of the property.

A typographical error was pointed out on page G2 of the Council Memo; under I-10 it should read 18.28.020A, not 18.20.020A.

It was noted that this proposal would only affect properties over 10,000 sq. ft. in size and located outside of the Historic Districts.

Mr. Goldman clarified that if a structure was voluntarily removed by the property owner, and the property was over 10,000 sq. ft. in size, than it would be subject to the provisions in the proposed ordinance and the property owner would have to show how future units could be added to the site. However, if a structure was involuntarily destroyed (due to a fire, for example), Exception E would allow that the house could be replaced without meeting the minimum density standard.

Public Hearing Open: 7:35 p.m.

Barbara Vasquez/885 Palmer/Voiced concern regarding the proposed ordinance change. Ms. Vasquez stated the amendments were based on the minimum density standards adopted by several other Oregon cities and noted how Ashland was different. Ms. Vasquez stated that the ordinance amendment was not needed and listed several examples explaining what the City has already done to accommodate the housing needs. Ms. Vasquez asked the Council to conduct a Housing Type Analysis prior to making any changes to the ordinance and suggested that the City issue a bond for affordable housing.

Phil Hutchings/2408 Siskiyou/Stated that he owned property that would be affected by the proposed changes and voiced his opposition. Mr. Hutchings stated that the ordinance change would reduce the options for what he would like to do with his property and stated that it could possibly devalue his land.

Brent Thompson/582 Allison/Spoke regarding a previous ordinance change that reduced the maximum height of a building from 35' to 30'. Mr. Thompson also noted the Open Space Program and suggested that the City look into other options to ensure that they have open areas around the structures that could potentially be built.

Public Hearing Closed 7:48 p.m.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified that the height limit was reduced by the Maximum House Size Ordinance, and it did not apply to structures built outside of the Historic Districts. Mr. Goldman added that there are already requirements in the Site Design and Use Standards that regulate open space, orientation of building and break-up of mass.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that the proposed ordinance amendment would not guarantee affordable housing units, however it would preclude a far less affordable housing development. He added that there are many areas in the City that could accommodate single-family detached homes at a higher cost, however in the R-2 and R-3 zones, Staff is looking at higher densities and hopefully lower costs.

Councilor Morrison/Laws m/s to direct Staff to bring back the proposed ordinance changes, including the modifications to the exception standards "C" and "X" as presented by the Planning Commission, for first reading. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Art Bullock/791 Glendower
/Submitted a written statement into the record regarding false claims that were reported in the newspaper and the Nevada LID. Statement was added to the Council Agenda Packet for reference.

Brent Thompson/582 Allison/Spoke regarding his hardship that has been created by the City's Sign Code. Mr. Thompson stated that he constructed a building that accommodates several businesses and that each one has their own entrance on different sides of the building. However, because of the sign provision contained in the Ashland Municipal Code, only 2 of the businesses can display a sign. Mr. Thompson asked that the Council direct the Planning Commission to perform a re-write of this section of the Code and asked that the Planning Commission be given some latitude to address this issue.

Council requested further information and asked that this issue be placed on a future Council Agenda.


1.  Quarterly Financial Report: July - September, 2004.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the Quarterly Report for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2004/2005. Mr. Tuneberg pointed out that during the year there would need to be adjustments made. At this time, Staff is anticipating that they will have to make adjustments to the Telecommunications and Airport Funds. Mr. Tuneberg noted that the City has $23 Million in Cash Investments, which is approximately $1 Million more than the previous years, and that this was directly related to the refinancing of the AFN internal debt. Mr. Tuneberg also noted that the City's total resources is $34.5 Million.

Councilor Hearn/Amarotico m/s to accept the Quarterly Report as presented. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

1.  Reading by title only of "A Resolution of the City of Ashland Annexing a Contiguous Area to the City of Ashland, Oregon, and Providing for an Effective Date (Ely Schless and Krista Johnson Annexation, 3151 East Main Street).
Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated that the ordinance portion of the annexation process had already been completed and that the applicant had submitted the required documentation. He added that adopting the proposed resolution was one of the final steps in completing the annexation into the City.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified that an engineer was hired and went through FEMA to determine the accurate floodplain for this area. It was determined that the area to be annexed was far beyond the floodplain area identified.

Councilor Laws/Hearn m/s to approve Resolution #2004-36. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Morrison, Jackson and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

2.  Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting the Time and Place for a Public Hearing on the Withdrawal of Certain Real Property from Jackson County Fire District No. 5; and Directing Publication of Notice as Required by ORS 222.524 (Ely Schless and Krista Johnson, 3151 East Main Street).

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2004-37. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Jackson, Hearn, Laws, Hartzell and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

1.   Request of Council Hartzell to discuss Billings Ranch Golf Course.

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi stated that this issue had been previously discussed by the Council on several occasions and noted that Staff had asked the County several times to inform the City regarding their procedures for dealing with the golf course. Mr. Grimaldi explained that the developer of the golf course would like to use a portion of the greenway land that is currently controlled by the County. At one point, the City was told that this would require an amendment to the Greenway Plan, but more recently the Jackson County Planning Department has revised that opinion.

Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated that the Jackson County Board of Commissioners would be meeting on Thursday, November 4, 2004 to further discuss this topic. Until that time, there is no new information to report. Mr. McLaughlin explained that Jackson County has determined that they never formally adopted the zoning overlay that would have implemented the Greenway Master Plan. The County is now looking for direction from the Board of Commissioners to determine if they should move forward with amending the Plan to make it consistent with the uses that have been previously discussed or whether they should enter into some sort of application that would allow for the Billings Group to use the greenway land.

City Attorney Mike Franell stated he wanted to further analyze Jackson County's options of either implementing the EFU Standards or the Greenway Standards, and whether it would make a difference one way or the other. Mr. Franell briefly explained how granting a Conditional Use for each set of standards would vary and stated that he believed that the County would have a difficult time granting the Conditional Use if the Greenway Standards applied.

Council discussed their interest in this project and made several suggestions, including:
• Ask that a representative from the Billings Development come to the Council and explain their position,
• Determine how the wildlife in the area will be affected by the different alternatives,
• Keep themselves informed of the golf course and formulate the City's position on where they stand on the issue,
• Have the City Attorney attend the Jackson County Board of Commissioner's Meeting on November 4th, and
• Ask the County to hold a Public Hearing and provide the at least one weeks notice so that the City could participate.

Mr. McLaughlin noted that because there is no active land use action at this time, the Jackson County Planning Department does not have any formal noticing procedures.

Mr. Franell stated that one option that the City could take was to request that Jackson County treat the issue of whether the Greenway Master Plan applied as a land use decision and request a Public Hearing.

Suggestion was made for the City not to take a stand on what process the County should use.
Additional suggestion was made that Staff should prepare a written document that states that the City of Ashland would like participate in the process and would like to be noticed appropriately.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor

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