Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

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

Mayor Stromberg noted vacancies on the Planning Commission, Public Arts Commission and Tree Commission.

The minutes of the Study Session meeting of April 6, 2009, Regular Council meeting of April 7, 2009 and Joint Council/Parks Commission meeting of March 12, 2009 were approved as presented.

Mayor Stromberg presented the Ragland Ward to the "Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association."

Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) Director Michael Cavallaro presented the annual RVCOG report that included:

  • Resurrecting the Rogue Valley Public Services Academy (RVPSA)
  • Rogue River Greenway - connecting Ashland to Grants Pass
  • Applying for a Grant to remove Gold Ray Dam
  • Creating a job description for a Regional Sustainability Expert
  • Hosting orientation for newly elected officials
  • Restarting the RVCOG newsletter
  • Creating a Customer Satisfaction Survey for the Medford Planning Department

1. Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?
2. Should the Police Department apply for a grant from the United States Department of Justice under the Byrne JAG grant program to fund an additional 605 hours of park patrol for each of the next four years?
3. Does the Council wish to confirm Mayor annual appointments to the various Commissions and Committees?
4. Will Council approve authorization for new Airport Lease Agreement?
5. Will Council approve Resolution for Standards of Cover for Ashland Fire and Rescue?
6. Should Council approve a Resolution authorizing the City Administrator, Finance Director or designee to enter into a Full Faith & Credit financing agreement to reimburse the City for capital costs on Water and Wastewater projects?
7. Does the Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Mark Rosewood dba T's at 303 East Main Street?

City Administrator Martha Bennett requested the Council pull item #6 for discussion.

Councilor Chapman/Navickas m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-5 and #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the need to borrow $1million to reimburse the Water Fund $700,000 and the Wastewater Fund $300,000 to protect reserves. The proposed resolution would repeal 2008-37 and 2008-40 where not all the projects identified last fall were initiated due to economic changes. It would also allow the City to purchase Full Faith and Credit instead of revenue bonds. In addition, the bank offered a $3million credit line that would remain open for 6 months and could cover any projects not funded through stimulus or grant funds at a reasonable interest rate.

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Silbiger left the meeting at 7:30 p.m.

1. Should Council approve first reading of ordinance amendment to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) adding Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones and first reading of ordinance amendments related amendments of the ALUO and Comprehensive Plan regarding the protection of wetlands, streams and riparian corridors?
Mayor Stromberg announced that due to the absence of Councilor Jackson and Councilor Silbiger, the Staff Report and Public Hearing portion of the proposed Land Use Ordinance would be held during this meeting. The absent Councilors would review the Public Hearing prior to the deliberation that would take place at a future City Council meeting.

Community Development Director Bill Molnar and Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation that included:

  • Wetlands, Streams & Riparian Corridors - Update of City Regulations
  • History of Current Regulations
  • Project History
  • Project Timeline
    Purpose of Update
  • Why are wetlands and streams valuable resources?
    1. Flood control
    2. Water quality
    3. Water temperature
    4. Fish and wildlife habitat
    5. Community character and quality of life
  • Ashland Watershed Assessment & Action Plan
  • Ashland Watershed Assessment 2008 Key Findings
    1. Riparian Areas have been reduced to very narrow strip - under story sparse to non-existent
    2. Himalayan blackberries dominate under story
    3. 95% of watershed prone to high erosion potential
    4. Abundance of restoration opportunities
  • Preparing for Climate Change in the Rogue Basin 2009
  • Impact of Amendments
  • Update Package
  • Primary Updates
  • Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones
  • Where the Regulation Apply: Wetlands, Steams and associated buffer areas
  • Water Resources Map
  • Identifying the Regulated Areas
  • Locally Significant Wetlands
  • Possible Wetlands
  • Riparian Corridors
  • Local Streams
  • Intermittent & Ephemeral Streams
  • Approval Process
    1. Exempt Activities - no Permit
    2. Limited Activities and Uses - Staff Approval w/notice
    3. Reductions in Protection Zone - Staff Approval w/notice
    4. Hardship Variance - Commission Approval w/notice
  • Revisions to Chapter 18.63 Since March 2 Council Study Session - Herbicide Use
    1. Moved to exempt activity
    2. State law preempts local regulation of pesticide use (ORS 634.057)
    3. Chapter 9.28 Pesticide Policy
  • Revisions to Chapter 18.63 Since March 2 Council Study Session - Trails
    1. Wider trails for accessibility and high pedestrian traffic areas
    2. Educational displays
  • Issues
    1. Outdoor Use Areas
    2. Weight Limitation of Equipment
    3. Native Plant Requirement for Streams

Mr. Molnar explained that Safe Harbor Standards have a 50% reduction and the allowance came from the Administrative Rules that allow up to a 50-foot reduction in a protection zone. The Planning Commission decided to have Type 1 Procedural Hearings regarding the 50% reduction because of its similarity to variances where the burden is on the applicant to show the minimum reduction necessary to accommodate what they want done.

Ms. Harris clarified that the ordinance is not application based, would apply to the Parks and Recreation Department except for parks with grandfathered exemptions.

Public Hearing Open: 7:56 p.m.

Donald Morris/1644 Ross Lane/Represented the Ashland Watershed Partnership (AWP). The AWP recommended staff develop an enforcement plan in the ordinance or as a supplement. It was vital to determine the process, the individuals who will initiate and carry out enforcement actions and that City staff working directly with enforcement understood the ordinance.

Terry Clement/290 Grandview/Commented the ordinance will hinder building on his property due to the proximity of a seasonal creek. He understood the use of variance but stated the investment made in this particular property will now be even more expensive and felt the ordinance was too restrictive.

James Moore/1217 Park Street/Voiced his appreciation of the time and effort put into the ordinance but felt it required public education the City was unable to afford at this time. Numerous citizen resources could help with public education through volunteerism. He thought innovation and education would align the Water Resources Protection Ordinance with the Valdez Principals.

Rivers Brown/1067 Ashland Street/Thought the use of pesticide should be included in the ordinance. He recalled an earlier incident with a Southern Oregon University worker using pesticide and suggested having Work Studies where people physically remove unwanted plants for trade or education in lieu of pay as an alternative to pesticides. Mr. Brown shared a line from Jacques Cousteau: "The oceans return to us what we give to them," and added the oceans were dying. He hoped the ordinance would result in contributing to the health of the planet.

Julie Norman/596 Helman Street/Explained the State prohibits Cities from regulating pesticides on private property but felt there should be a review of the City's policies on pesticides in the parklands. She provided a map depicting land currently managed by the Parks Department. She stated the Parks Department was exempt from 1996 policy regarding the use of pesticides and added the Parks Department's pesticide policy covered safety measures, accountability, and stressed minimizing the use of pesticide. She noted the Parks Department's interest in reviewing their pesticide policy and recommended that the Council look at strengthening the Parks Departments policies that pertain to pesticides.

Angie Thusius/897 Beach Street/Represented the Grandmothers and Friends in Green regarding the use of pesticides in the Water Resources Ordinance and the Parks Department. She urged the Council to withdraw the Parks Department pesticide use exemption and make the existing ordinance all encompassing. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Fisheries were ordered to revaluate 37 commonly used pesticides in Oregon. The first three pesticides analyzed were put on a Fisheries Restricted List with a 500-foot pesticide buffer zone from streams. The EPA recently ordered manufacturers to test their products for possible endocrine harm from 67 chemicals. She noted a workshop on May 3, 2009 at Glenwood Park to keep the park pesticide free adding there are approximately 85 pesticide free parks in the Northwest.

John Ward/1525 Baldy Creek Road/Represented the Rogue Fly Fishers and expressed their support of the Water Resource Protection Zones Ordinance and its extensive coverage. He provided a map of Ashland's water runoff areas and noted the vulnerability of the community due to steep ridges.

Margie Mee/1049 E Nevada Street/Explained her participation with the Madrona Artists, their involvement in spreading awareness about the Klamath River and how disturbed she was by what she heard. She urged the Council to provide leadership in making the community a pesticide free area. She mentioned a show on Public Television on Frontline called "Poisoned Water" that would provide new research and added the Beekeepers Association felt a pesticide free City was the best way to revive the bee populations locally.

Dave Dotterrer/538 Sutton Place/Explained he was a member of the Planning Commission and did not support the ordinance. He disagreed with the process used and was not sure the ordinance would be understood by the average citizen perspective. He thought the ordinance had made good changes but would have been better with citizen involvement. He reiterated his major concern was with the process.

Royce Duncan/1065 Paradise Lane/Felt that the process used in writing the ordinance was backwards by not creating goals and direction. The ordinance should be a resource for the community. There were technical and practical problems with the proposed ordinance outlined in documents Mr. Duncan had submitted into the record earlier.

Claire Duncan/1065 Paradise Lane/Stated a sustainable Ashland was obtainable through the good will of the citizenry and was concerned the 20% of citizens most affected by the ordinance would accrue a sense of alienation. She recommended the Council use the funds for enforcement on homeowner restrictions for public education and community building efforts.

JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Represented the Ashland Watershed Partnership who recommended technical experts or a Task Force review the draft for clarity, internal consistency, address unresolved issues and possibly add an index. Another suggestion was make the proposed ordinance user friendly by establishing a citizen review panel to see if they understood and could implement the various sections of the ordinance in new development and remodeling situations then provide written feedback to staff and the Council.

Greg Williams/744 Helman Street/Noted his history with Ashland Creek and a prior term on the City Council. Mr. Williams thought a lot could be done using the Physical Constraints Ordinance 18.62. He encouraged the Council to look at the ordinance and question how easy it was for citizens to work with. He also wanted to see better education on taking care of streams. Protecting the stream was paramount and he did not feel the ordinance accomplished those goals.

Rick Landt/468 Helman Street/Represented the Ashland Watershed Partnership and provided a presentation regarding Top of Bank. The ordinance was long and difficult to determine the point from all the multiple definitions. He attributed the difficulties in determining Top of Bank to human alterations, steep topography, the scour point of the last flood and invasive plants. He provided possible alternatives.

Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to extend Public Hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Zach Brombacher/1370 Tolman Creek/Expressed concerns regarding the lack of citizen input and how the Mayor's participation previously on the Planning Commission gave an appearance of bias to the ordinance. The ordinance would erode his right to ownership and devalue his property without compensation. He noted his property location and added the study did not reveal how the City uses the creeks as storm drains without notification. He felt the public was unaware of what was occurring and were hopeless to fight the City. He hoped the Council would weigh the severity of the ordinance against what it attempts to accomplish.

Mayor Stromberg clarified that Mr. Brombacher had spoken at Public Hearings before the Planning Commission and that the Planning Commission had made a site visit to his property.

Stephanie Tidwell/2300 Black Oak Way/Explained she was the Executive Director of the Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center and shared the group's concern at the ongoing water quality issues in the Rogue Basin. The ordinance was an improvement but the Klamath Siskiyou Wildlife Center felt strongly the Parks & Recreation Department should comply with the 1996 Pesticide Use Ordinance. The activities of the Parks & Recreation Department are significant in terms of potential impacts to water quality and there are viable alternatives to the pesticides the department currently uses. She added enforcement was insufficient and an educational program targeting property owners within watershed zones would be beneficial. She hoped Ashland would set a high bar for sustainability and having an organic Parks and Recreation Department was a good start.

Nicole Del Pizzo/321 Clay Street #3/Explained she was the Education and Outreach Director for the Lomakatsi Restoration Project. Through the Lomakatsi Site Adoption Plan, they have provided riparian restoration on 22 sites within the Ashland Bear Creek watershed. The Project's education program works with schools, at risk youth groups and community members. These groups are enthusiastic and want to help transform riparian corridors into a healthy native eco-system. She explained the method used for blackberry removal, gave examples of past projects and stressed community education and public outreach is a viable method of dealing with this issue.

Pam Vavra/457 C Street/Because of the last minute changes and public input, she hoped the Council would not approve the ordinance at this time and allow further development over the next three months for improvement purposes and public input. She applied time, space and manner for regulating pesticide use by property owners and suggested signage by property owners when using pesticides. She agreed with other testimonies on having an education campaign involving citizens.

Tom Marr/955 North Mountain Avenue/Shared personal experiences from living on the Trinity River in the late 1970's and the loss of a child from severe birth defects most likely from pesticides in the river. Trinity County eventually passed the strictest herbicide use ordinance in the country that was still in effect. Trinity County's previous ordinance was similar to the ordinance before the Council now. He explained what lead to the countrywide ban of herbicides on Federal land in Oregon. Many of the pesticides available to the public are on suspect lists. Even though State law prevents direct regulation of pesticide use by property owners the City could educate the public by example by becoming a pesticide free City.

Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Appreciated the progress of the proposed ordinance but did not think it was ready for approval. Two areas he felt were not being adequately addressed were alternatives to pesticides and the migration of the active stream channel. Eliminating references to the pesticide policy did not meet the objective of protecting and benefiting the health, safety and welfare of residents and animals. The Water Resources Ordinance as proposed does not include the short and long-term adverse impact of the application of pesticides or alternative mechanical or cultural methods upon humans, animals and plants that the Pesticide Policy does. The proposed ordinance provisions for education are helpful but need continuing research to increase understanding and skill for the successful management of the water and soil resources. The use of herbicides and pesticides being cost effective is a perception because often there are associated long-term costs to the capital resource resulting in increased operating costs and reduced residual value of the capital resource.

The immediate cause is the suppression and development of the food webs microscopic foundations in the soil and water resources. Mr. Kay recommended a book "Teaming with Microbes Soil Food Web," and offered to loan to the Council adding soil biology provides valuable services and might suppress invasive plants. He briefly noted the other issue of the migration of stream channels, streams move in sine waves and is important the City pays attention to the corridor. He recommended another book "The View of the River" and offered to loan to the Council as well.

Marcia McNamara/1007 Ashland Street/Explained she owns 500 feet of property on Clay Creek and the 40-foot buffer zone will make 40,000 square feet of that property unusable. She understood the need to protect the water but thought the ordinance should address the larger pieces of property along streams and creeks used for agricultural purposes. She noted the ordinance required hand held mowing devices within buffer zones and questioned how the City would be able to run motorized lawnmowers in the parks close to streams.

Liesa Holden/805 Oak Street/Expressed her concern on the use of pesticides and encouraged the City to take a leadership role and demonstrate ways to get rid of pests and weeds. She lives near Ashland Creek, wants to be a good steward of the land and knows pesticides are not healthy for floral and fauna in the creek and eventually the ocean.

Joe Holden/805 Oak Street/Explained that Ashland Creek runs through his backyard and noted crayfish and steelhead were in the creek. To have pesticides go into the creek and possibly kill these animals was a serious issue for himself and his family. He expressed concern that pesticides could mutate the fish.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:25 p.m. (Record to remain open until a future Council meeting)

The Council and staff discussed applying time, place and manner for herbicide and pesticide use. It would have to be considered strictly necessary to comply with State or Federal pesticide requirements and unlikely the City could initiate it because State law pre-empted Federal law regarding pesticide use.

The Council requested information on the following:

  • The financial and operational impact to the Parks Department if the City eliminated use of pesticides
  • The enforcement plan and how would it be enforced
  • The original outline of the goals for the ordinance
  • What the Parks Department's plans are regarding pesticides

Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to continue deliberation and first reading until May 19, 2009. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman YES. Motion passed.

Brandon Givens/343 Bridge Street/Spoke on behalf of Rogue Valley Television (RVTV) and explained RVTV's mission is to establish, manage and maintain a sustainable organization that provides public education and government access television services on a cooperative basis. RVTV is funded by cable franchise fees and cable subscribers pay for it. Mr. Givens noted this is the 20th anniversary of when RVTV was formed. RVTV is a Public, Educational and Government (PEG) station. The station relies on Southern Oregon University students to help with operations with a dedicated staff of three full time and three part time people. RVTV is here to help people share their vision with the community. He concluded with an invitation to attend an open house presentation at the Higher Education Center in Medford on May 30, 2009.

Pam Vavra/457 C Street/Requested support for Senate Bill 29 (SB29). She provided the Council with a draft of the resolution and asked to add it to the meeting agenda. She explained it was similar to the 2007 Resolution the City Council had passed previously. Included in the packet was a letter from Senator Jackie Dingfelder supporting Senate Bill 29, the full text of SB29 and amendments proposed by the County Clerk's Association that addressed their concerns. She noted statewide support for SB29 and asked the Council to support it as well.

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to place on the agenda under Ordinances, Resolutions and Contracts for discussion. Voice Vote: Councilor Navickas, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 3-1.



1. Does the Council wish to make the annual appointment to the Audit Committee with term ending 4/30/2012?"
City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided the staff report.

Councilor Navickas/Chapman m/s to approve the appointment of Roberta Stebbins to the Audit Committee with a term ending 4/30/2012. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse voiced support for Marty Levine and emphasized this was not a NO vote to Ms. Stebbins. Councilor Navickas thought both individuals were qualified with backgrounds in Accounting. Councilor Chapman expressed his appreciation for both applicants and added he would vote for Ms. Stebbins.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Voisin and Navickas, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 3-1.

1. Should the Council conduct and approve the second reading of an ordinance titled "An Ordinance amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance Sign Regulations Chapter (AMC 18.96) Concerning Recommendations for Additional signage by the 2008 Downtown Task Force?
City Attorney Richard Appicello read the title in full. Revisions to Replacement Sign on page 3, #24, under Definitions 18.96.020 were read as follows: "A change in the materials of a permitted sign in which the previously approved sign dimensions, supporting structure, and location remain unaltered," and striking "A change in the size or materials of a sign in a location where a permitted sign had previously existed prior to the proposed installation."

Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to approve Ordinance #2982 as amended.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman suggested the 3-D sign specifications of 3 cubic feet be the same throughout the City instead of pertaining to the downtown area. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Chapman. Councilor Voisin was more comfortable not extending the 3-D sign requirements and waiting for the next sign code review in two years. Mayor Stromberg commented the amendment was moderate and fair and would support the motion to extend the requirements if a tie vote ensued. Councilor Navickas was willing to support the amendment in an effort of fairness across the City.
Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse to amend the motion on the table to restore 3D signs to the commercial and industrial employment district to duplicate what is already in the C1D Region District. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 3-1.

Mr. Appicello read the amendment in full.

DISCUSSION continued on amended motion: Councilor Navickas emphasized not allowing the 20 cubic foot signage outside of the downtown was not related to the Alfredo statue at Wiley's World but a conservative stance to limit gaudy commercialism throughout the area. Roll Call on the original motion as amended: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

2. Should the Council conduct and approve the first reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Amending AMC 2.28.045, Relating to Delegations of Authority to the City Administrator, Providing for Authority to Extinguish City Interests in Real Property less than Fee Title, Authority to Enter into Month to Month Leases of Real Property, Authority to Administratively Waive Food and Beverage and Transient Occupancy Tax Penalties, Amending AMC 4.24.070 and Amending AMC 4.34.060?"

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the title in full.

Clarifications were made that the ordinance applied to month-to-month leases only and would authorize the City Administrator to vacate or extinguish easements, not grant them. The Council was not comfortable delegating authority to vacate or extinguish easements. Currently vacating or extinguishing an easement required Findings deeming it not necessary for public use and a Public Hearing.

Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Lemhouse and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to amend motion by removing item C. Extinguishing interest in real property. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Chapman, Lemhouse and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.

Roll Call Vote on original motion: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Voisin and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

3. Resolution regarding Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).
Councilor Navickas supported the resolution, did not think it was controversial and was comfortable moving forward. Councilor Lemhouse was uncomfortable passing a resolution without a full Council or public input and suggested it go on a future agenda for further discussion.

Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to place on May 5, 2009 agenda. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin commented the Councilors not present voted for the resolution in 2007 and their absence might not make a difference in the vote. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Lemhouse and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.

Councilor Lemhouse publicly thanked the Ashland Police Volunteers who helped in the Pear Blossom parade and festivities. The City of Medford will reciprocate by volunteering to support Ashland's Fourth of July parade.

Mayor Stromberg shared Councilor Voisin's suggestion to have one Council Liaison report at each City Council meeting on a rotating basis. Having the Council provide Trip Reports was also suggested.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:19 p.m.

Barbara Christensen,

City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor


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