Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

Councilors Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger, Chapman and Navickas were present. Councilor Voisin was absent.

1. Look Ahead Review
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead.

2. Does the Council have questions for staff about Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones and the related Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) and Comprehensive Plan amendments?
Community Development Director Bill Molnar shared the background on the ordinance. Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation that included:

  • What is the Water Resource Ordinance?
  • Update Package
  • Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones - Where the Regulations Apply
          1. Stream
          2. Wetlands
          3. Associated buffer areas
  • Water Resources Map: Encapsulates the inventory required for significant water resources under Statewide Planning Goal 5 with significant water resources defined by local jurisdiction or the Safe Harbor Approach in Statewide Planning Goal 5.
  • Identifying the Regulated Area
  • Stream Bank Protection Zones
           1. Riparian Corridors - Protection zone 50 feet from top of bank
           2. Local Streams - Protection zone 40 feet from top of bank
           3. Intermittent & Ephemeral Streams - Protection zone 30 feet from center line of stream

Mr. Molnar explained the minimum buffer zone requirement for fish bearing streams is 50-feet and follows the Safe Harbor Approach. Buffer areas for the other two categories are based on riparian buffer widths established in other communities ranging from 35-200 feet and City goals. The current ordinance under the Floodplain Corridor Lands identifies buffer areas at 10 and 20 feet for smaller streams. The City used centerline measurement to be consistent and expanded regulations in place for the last two decades.

  • Wetland Protection Zones
           1. Locally Significant Wetland - Protection zone 50 feet from upland edge of wetland
           2. Possible Wetland - Protection zone 20 feet from upland edge of wetland
  • Approval Process
  • Exempt Activities and Uses - No Permit Required
           1. Landscaping
           2. 50-50 Zone: Restoration Standards in the draft ordinance require compliance regarding exempt activities and covers details on planting. The 50-50 provision applies to local and intermittent streams as well.
           3. Existing Structures & Infrastructure
  • Limited Uses and Activities - Land Use Application Required
           1. Landscaping

Ms. Harris explained that multi-year maintenance plans with the removal of noxious and invasive vegetation possibly using herbicides was added in response to issues the Parks Department had regarding ongoing maintenance of public and private open spaces.  Mr. Molnar noted an omission in the current draft that will be changed making herbicide use consistent for streams and wetlands.
                 2. Building, Paving & Grading

  • Protection Zone Reductions and Hardship Variances: Constrained or Nonconforming Situation - Property gets flexibility - in exchange for restoration of resource

Ms. Harris clarified a single-family residential zone, in a Water Resource Protection Zone or flood plain can rebuild in the same footprint if the home is destroyed by flood. Mr. Molnar added Flood Plain Regulations might require elevation or engineering provisions per the City's participation in the Flood Plain Management Program.

  • Project History
  • Project Timeline
  • Key Issues
  • Regulating Herbicide Use
  • Purpose of Update
  • Why are streams and wetlands valuable natural resources?
  • Why update wetland, stream and riparian corridor regulations?

A suggestion was made to increase the 30-inch maximum for trails to 36 inches to meet the handicap accessible requirement.

Concern was raised how some non-native plants are beneficial and their removal using herbicides can result in erosion or other problems. It was noted the ordinance is written in conjunction with the Restoration Project and is subject to restoration provisions for cover and canopy.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder


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