PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
September 25, 2006
Present: Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige
Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175
Study Session – August 21, 2006 In the section entitled Ashland Greenhouse Development and Proposed Land Swap, Eggers asked that the spelling for “Zeroscape” be corrected as “Xeriscape,” stating that the root word “Xeric” pertains to dry landscaping. In the last bullet of that section, she questioned whether
In the section entitled Fire Department Findings for Station Expansion, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers clarified that the commission agreed it was their responsibility to notify neighbors about the potential loss of the park, not the proposed bond.
MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no
Regular Meeting—August 28, 2006 In the “Open Forum” section regarding the request for the use of the bandshell, Eggers clarified that the commission chose not to allow the event to take place at that location based on the fact that it was a scheduling conflict and due to the commission’s policy regarding amplified sound time limits, not on “the political nature of the event.” Rosenthal added that the commission chose not to add the item under “New Business” based on the above rationale, with no commissioners making a judgment on the merits of the event.
In the “Subcommittee and Staff Reports” section regarding the Senior Center Report, Eggers asked that the fifth bullet be clarified to reflect that the senior center board is made up of “citizens,” not necessarily “senior citizens.”
MOTION D. Amarotico moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no
Robertson reminded the commission about the proposed remodel of Fire Station #2, stating that if the November bond measure passes and the project is approved, the fire station remodel would impact the space currently utilized by
Robertson reminded the commission that, at their September 18 study session, a question was asked regarding how the City would “unpark a park.” He referred the question to City Attorney Mike Franell and Franell quoted the Operations section of the City Charter, Article 19-A, Section 2, which reads:
Before any land or easement that has been acquired for the
Franell recommended erring on the side of caution, since the property is designated as open space in the Comprehensive Plan, and suggested that the Parks Commission follow the procedure set forth in the City Charter.
In response to a commissioner question about how the property was purchased, Robertson reported that
He read two letters received by
Eric Setterberg wrote of his concern that the fire station expansion could potentially eliminate two-thirds of
Rick Landt outlined three points of concern: 1) the Parks Commission is responsible for acting as the custodian of parks and the proposed expansion potentially creates a change and precedent for Ashland parks; 2) custodians of public land must adhere to the City’s Comprehensive Plan goal of providing a park within ¼-mile of every citizen in Ashland; and 3) the Parks Commission has a right and responsibility to publicly state that preservation of Sherwood Park in its current square footage should be retained if it is determined that there is no overlap of service in that area.
Robertson directed the commissioners’ attention to the public notice included within their packets, reporting that staff prepared and posted the notice within and around Sherwood Park to ensure notification to neighbors and other park users regarding the September 25 Parks Commission meeting, and he stated that the notice was also reformatted and sent out as a press release to local media outlets. Robertson provided the commission with a map identifying the local parks within a ¼-mile service radius.
Commissioners asked about the sizes and ages of both Clay Street and Hunter Parks and were told that Clay Street is 3.5 acres and was purchased in the 1970s with an unspecified number of donations while Hunter is 9.72 acres and was purchased in 1978 for $8,050 using the Cemetery Fund.
Fire Chief Keith Woodley along with project architect Bob Thrapp and consulting engineer Jim McNamara provided information about the fire station expansion as it relates to
Bob Thrapp reviewed the site plan, stating that the building will be placed 20 feet from the property line with no fire apparatus traffic in the front of the building. He stated that the original site plan has been reduced by two apparatus, allowing for 30 additional feet of park that were not originally proposed to council. He reported that the training tower is a three-story building with restrooms at the base and that the tower allows the Fire Department to do their training and gives them enough radius to drive a truck around the perimeter. He stated that he contoured the curb to maximize the green space with the vehicles that will be circulating around the site and indicated that there would be a good delineation (landscaping and a wall) between parkland and the building and apparatus. He reported on his efforts to avoid removing the Heritage Oak on the site and said the site plan would reduce the park size by half the square footage, bringing it to 13,500 square feet from its current 27,000 square feet.
Woodley reported that the Fire Department intends to share the land with the park site, stating that it is not their intention to eliminate the park. He indicated that, since the current bathrooms at the park are in poor condition, park patrons would be welcome to use the bathrooms located at the base of the training tower. In terms of the other amenities at the park, he stated that the playground equipment and large oak tree would be retained, with part of the lawn and the bocce ball courts removed or relocated. Woodley apologized for the Parks Commission’s surprise regarding the proposed bond measure and potential loss of the park and announced that the Fire Department plans to host an open house at Fire Station #2 on October 16 to give the community an opportunity to look at designs and ask questions about the project.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners asked a number of questions related to the site plan, including Gardiner’s question about the feasibility of adding some of Sherwood Avenue to the park land, considering that the street would be closed to thru traffic and it could help offset park land lost to the project, and Lewis’s question about whether a 20-foot street setback might prevent less park land from being compromised. Gardiner asked that the Fire Department and architect consider moving the training tower closer to the building or the street to increase land for the park. Woodley stated that the Fire Department felt a commitment, along with the Parks Commission, to retain green space in the area of the proposed expanded fire station. When asked about the necessity of including the large training tower within the project, Woodley responded that it is an important feature to the firefighters in
Eggers reported on details of her recent visits to Sherwood,
Gardiner requested documentation of the concerns shared with Woodley, and Robertson paraphrased items to include in a staff memo to City Administrator Martha Bennett:
§ Locate the new station as close to the curb fronting
§ Relocate the bocce ball courts, preferably within
§ The commission recognizes that the
Eggers asked that the commission request the preservation of as many trees as possible, in addition to the Heritage Oak, and Gardiner asked for the replacement of the trees that would be removed for the expansion. Staff was directed to draft the letter as worded above, obtain the commission Chair’s signature, and forward it to the City Administrator for further distribution.
Chief Woodley again announced the Fire Department’s hosting of an open house at Fire Station #2 on Monday, October 16, 2006, from 4-7:00 PM to give the public an opportunity to review preliminary building elevations and designs along with the site plan. He stated that the Parks Department is the Fire Department’s landscaper, with whom the Fire Department has entered into an agreement for the maintenance of land around Fire Station #1, and he asked that the same agreement be made with respect to Fire Station #2. He stated that, should the reduced size of
FRISBEE GOLF COURSE REQUEST
Robertson reported that staff received a request from Mr. Marty Karlin regarding his request for the installation of a disc golf course within
Marty Karlin spoke of his recent introduction to and enjoyment of the game and reported that, while there is no formal course in the area, there are some informal courses in
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners asked where he had played the game and he responded that he played at a course in
Commissioners expressed general support for the concept, with Eggers requesting that the course be placed within an existing park and Gardiner asking that the chosen area not conflict with other activities on the site. Lewis invited Karlin to make another presentation to the commission during the budget planning session in early 2006 to potentially move the concept forward. Staff was directed to meet with Karlin to prepare for another discussion of the topic at the October regular meeting.
PETITION FOR NEW PARK
Robertson reported that staff and the commission received a petition dated September 5, 2006, from residents of south
Rod Petrone, 2324 Abbot Avenue, speaking as a representative of the residents of south Ashland, stated that the southern end of town had experienced enormous development of high density housing, generating much new tax revenue for the city and county, and that in order to maintain quality living for the homeowners and children of the community, it is necessary to develop a usable park facility in the area. He asked about the status of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and questioned whether its statement that the City has an obligation to “give a livable city to the residents of
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners questioned whether the City’s Comprehensive Plan was scheduled for an update and Robertson reported that the State of
SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
QUARTERLY RECREATION REPORT
Robertson reported that the Recreation Division experienced a very successful summer season and he directed Teige to present her quarterly recreation report to the commission. Teige summarized the report, offering highlights and new features of the programs provided to the community.
Robertson reported that he and Gies met with the Fred A. Tayler Trust Foundation regarding funding for development of new projects within
Eggers stated that the lower maintenance area is not an attractive feature of
Teige reported that the Third Annual Salmon Festival was scheduled for Saturday, October 7, at
Robertson reported that Teige would be the recipient of a Young Professionals Award at the National Recreation and Parks Association convention in
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
D. Amarotico asked about the status of the Vogel and Scenic park sites and Robertson reported that staff needed to contract with an architect to develop the final plans, stating that he had talked to the Purchasing Department about taking the lead in moving the process forward. In terms of the Vogel property, he reported that David Lewis, Landscape Architect, had completed the written portion and was finalizing the master plan drawings and determining when he would be available to present them to the commission.
D. Amarotico mentioned reading an article in the current Parks and Recreation Magazine regarding a Eugene-area parks department that was launching a plan to implement pesticide-free parks. Robertson acknowledged reading an article in the same issue regarding smoke-free parks, and he suggested that the commission conduct a study session to discuss both topics in the near future.
Eggers talked about the commission’s need to name the Vogel and Scenic park sites soon.
Robertson reported receiving preliminary readings from recent Ashland Creek water quality testing by the Public Works Department and offered to send the results to the commission for their review.
UPCOMING MEETING DATES and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS
§ Joint study session set for Thursday, October 12, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175
§ Eugene YAL and its impact on
§ Study session set for Monday, October 16, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topic to include:
§ Continuation of discussion regarding facility costs and rentals for facilities and park spaces
§ Regular meeting set for Monday, October 23, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175
By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:06 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department