Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, October 20, 2009





October 20, 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, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.



Mayor Stromberg referenced an article in the Oregonian regarding the Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) on the transition in shifts of duty for some soldiers from being combat ready to hospitality workers at the Joint Visitor Bureau (JVB) Hotel.  He went on to note changes in the agenda.



The minutes of the Study Session of October 5, 2009, Executive Session of October 5, 2009, Executive Session of October 6, 2009, Regular Council of October 6, 2009 and Executive Session of October 13, 2009 were approved as presented.



The Mayor’s Proclamation of October 24th as United Nations Day was read aloud.


The Mayor announced vacancies on the Tree Commission, Conservation Commission, Housing Commission, Forest Lands Commission, and the Citizen Budget Committee.



1.   Does the Council accept the Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does the Council have any questions regarding the Annual Valdez Principles report?

3.   Should the Council continue to November 17 the first reading of ordinances amending the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) to include Chapter 18.63 Water Resource Protection Zones and make related amendments of the ALUO and Comprehensive Plan regarding the protection of wetlands, streams and riparian corridors?

4.   Does the Council wish to authorize the City Administrator to send a letter to Ashland Community Hospital (ACH) that waives the City's right to terminate the Facilities lease and resume responsibility for operation of the Hospital?

5.   Will the Council ratify the City Administrator's decision to terminate Stage 1 of Water Curtailment?

6.   Should the Council approve a resolution to adjust budget appropriations for changes in operational expenses to remain in compliance with Oregon Budget Law?

7.   Will the Council, acting as the Local Contracts Review Board, approve a Contract-specific Special Procurement requesting approval to directly award a contract for Personal Services - specialized and highly technical computer programming, troubleshooting and repair service - to Quality Systems Integration?


Councilor Silbiger requested that consent item #6 be pulled for discussion. Councilor Lemhouse requested that consent agenda item #5 be pulled for discussion.


Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve consent agenda items #1-4 and #7.  All AYES. Motion passed. 


Mayor and Council acknowledged staff and citizens who participated in the successful water curtailment period.


Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to approve consent agenda item #5.  All AYES. Motion passed.


Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the $50,000 for the parking study was not anticipated and not budgeted.  However, an increase in questions regarding parking made staff realize there was not enough information to make the decisions needed.  The funds reside in the general fund as part of the parking district and are set aside for studies and issues regarding parking. 


Council thought the issue should be in the overall urban planning and not focused on parking.  The 2001 study was good, the proposed study would be a duplication of efforts.  The Transportation Master Plan would also include parking.  Staff described the recent changes to parking that had prompted the request for a new parking study. 


Councilor Navickas/Silbiger m/s to approve consent agenda item #6 to not include the transfer of appropriations of $50,000 to the General Fund Contingency for a parking study.

DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas thought the study should go through Planning, there were multiple solutions to address parking.  Councilor Silbiger commented the 2001 traffic study had been comprehensive, the proposed study was not in the budget and therefore not the time to initiate it.  Councilor Jackson saw it as a step in general planning for the downtown area and suggested the item come back to Council on a future agenda. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Navickas and Jackson, YES; Councilor Lemhouse and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s that staff bring proposed parking study back to Council for discussion and approval. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas commented the issue should be dealt with more comprehensively and looking at parking only was not a good way to plan.  Councilor Chapman thought the issue of a study should go through the Transportation Commission.  Councilor Navickas added the City was working on the Transportation Plan that included parking and parking should not be emphasized over any other element in the Transportation Plan.  Councilor Voisin agreed it should go to the Transportation Commission.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Chapman and Navickas, NO; Councilor Jackson and Lemhouse, YES. Motion failed 2-4.


Councilor Silbiger/Voisin m/s that staff bring proposed parking study to Transportation Commission for discussion and approval. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Jackson explained this request was whether the Council was interested in spending money on a study that also included price changes and did not think this was something the Transportation Commission should decide.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Chapman and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Navickas and Jackson, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)           





1.   Should the Council approve "A Resolution Adopting Right-of-Way Encroachment Guidelines, Standard Forms, Minimum Standards for Functional Items, and the Downtown Sidewalk Usage Map" (hereafter referred to as 'ROW Guidelines')?

Public Works Director Mike Faught, Associate Engineer Pieter Smeenk and GIS Coordinator Jason Wegner provided a presentation that included:

·         Will Council approve a Resolution adopting Right of Way Encroachment Guidelines, standard forms, minimum standards for functional Items and the downtown sidewalk usage map (DSUM)

·         2008 Downtown Task Force Recommendations

·         Implementing Ordinances July 21, 2009 Effective November 1, 2009

·         Right of Way Encroachment Guidelines:  A Work in Progress

·         Materials & Construction Standards

·         Placement, Clearance & Spacing Standards

·         Pedestrian Clearance Areas

Staff followed the existing ordinance and mapped only the downtown area.  The few businesses in violation of the right of way were on the map but not specially noted as being in violation.

·         Right of Way Encroachments

·         Standard Guideline Examples

·         Sidewalk Cafes Sample Requirements

·         Sidewalk Cafes

·         Bike Rack Sample Requirements

·         Bicycle Racks – On-Street Bike Parking is added

·         Publication Racks Sample Requirements

·         Publication Racks


Duane Wolf/Phoenix/Southern Oregon Media Group/Explained he was the Single Copy Manager and listed the publications he oversees for single copy distribution and noted two other distribution agencies involved that had worked with staff regarding standards for publication racks.


Staff added fees for the newspaper racks would be modest.  


·         Downtown Sidewalk Usage Map (DSUM)

·         Procedures for Abatement/Removal

·         Standard Permit Form

·         Annual Encroachment Permit


Mr. Faught clarified Ordinance 2990 states a minimum of 50 square feet for sidewalk café areas.  Additionally, fees will be separate from the ordinance in a resolution specifically for fees allowing staff to go to the Council for adjustments or to adapt new standards as needed.            


Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution #2009-29.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Does the Council wish to have staff continue working with the Planning Commission on amending the Land Use Ordinance with respect to planning application timetable extensions and planning application timetable tolling?

Community Development Director Bill Molnar gave the staff report and explained the Planning Commission consensus was to have an amendment that suspended the timetable until a decision was made at The Oregon Land Use Board Appeals (LUBA) or circuit court. The Commission was split on the recession extension because there were extenuating circumstances to look at in granting extensions.  Other concerns were directed at possible changes in the land use or ordinance during the extension that might affect the approvals.  Mr. Molnar shared examples of what other cities were doing in regards to the extension, explained the extension process and noted there were currently approximately 35 projects in various stages of approval since January 2006. 


Staff had not yet encountered projects with extensions that had major code changes that would affect the design. 

If changes had occurred, the extension would be granted if the applicant complied with them.


Council discussed allowing a second 18-month recession extension, reservations on allowing the extensions, public policy and requiring a Type 1 Procedure for tolling or allowing limited extensions.


Staff clarified extensions needed to be filed within the initial 12-month period to get a building permit and the first inspection to validate it.  Extensions usually take 2-3 weeks to process.  Currently there are 12-24 potential recession extensions for land use actions and no cases in appeal for tolling.


Council further discussed a one-time 18-month extension that would require an evaluation and reason the applicant was unable to get funding.  Opposition to having any type of extension was also expressed. 


Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to direct staff to develop an amendment to the Land Use Ordinance for a one additional 18-month extension on land use planning actions to respond to the change in conditions associated with the economic recession including an end date.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger noted this was one of the worst economic downturns since The Great Depression.  Governments at all levels have responded in various ways and it was appropriate for the City to respond.  Councilor Navickas commented the City needed applications more congruent with the current economic situation. It would be better for the community to let these projects lapse.  Councilor Lemhouse thought it was unconscionable the City would not allow these extensions.  The Federal Government was assisting industries and it was the City’s duty to give these people more time to get funding together.  Councilor Voisin commented the developers who took the risk of borrowing money and were unable to get funding due to the recession should suffer the consequences like everyone else.  Banks were not giving long extensions to people loosing their homes.  Councilor Chapman would support the motion but wanted language restricting eligibility, proof of hardship and the assurance the structure would be built. Councilor Jackson agreed with the motion adding Council was using a process already in the code and making a special application in response to the recession.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Lemhouse, Jackson and Chapman, YES; Councilor Navickas and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to direct staff to begin clock on planning applications once all appeals have been concluded.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Jackson did not think the clock should start during the appeals process.  Councilor Navickas explained timetables could get pushed far ahead from their initial approval with site-specific or ordinance changes that occurred in the interim. There should be some form of review before allowing the extension.  Councilor Jackson clarified she intended the same administrative process to apply.  Councilor Chapman thought the timetable would establish boundaries.  Councilor Voisin did not see the immediate need for tolling extension.  If a project ran out of time or there were issues with LUBA, they needed to reapply.  Councilor Silbiger commented it was a matter of fairness; people could lose their projects through no fault of their own.  He agreed there should be some constraints.   Councilor Lemhouse supported the motion, noted it needed framework and added as a government the City strives to protect fairness and equity in the community and that included developers.  Councilor Voisin questioned the warrant of having the policy at this time.  Councilor Silbiger responded this would establish a policy in the event a circumstance occurred.  Councilor Navickas added this was in the interest of protecting everyone, and cautioned on extending the timetable too far.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Silbiger, Lemhouse, Jackson and Chapman, YES; Councilor Navickas and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.



1.   Does the Council have any questions regarding the information update on the Siskiyou Fire of September 21, 2009 that occurred south of Ashland?

Fire Chief John Karns presented the staff report and explained initially the highest-ranking individual first on the scene of a fire had authority.  The fire was broken down into two areas, structure protection then Wildland.  The expected overall costs will exceed $1million.  He thanked the GIS staff for providing critical maps and the mobile command post provided by the Police Department.


Chief Karns gave a presentation that included the following Lessons Learned:

·         Importance of a command/tactical communications plan established early in the event

·         Importance of an early establishment of Incident Command and Command Staff

·         Importance of a Unified Command

·         Limitations of Ashland’s Wildfire Hotline 552-2490

·         Need for a clear emergency policy for the City’s website

·         Value of streaming 1700 AM on the website

·         Need for a locally controlled “mass notification” system

·         PIO integration

·         Need for better control of residents and general “Lookie-Lou’s”

·         Had a number of unauthorized home entries

·         Need for additional training for Emergency Operating Center (E.O.C.) activations and operations

·         Fire Department staffing at the E.O.C. needs to increase

·         Need for a vegetation management program in the City of Ashland

·         Need to re-evaluate the Wildfire Zone

·         Need for better resident education for preparedness and appropriate communications

·         Utilize city parks for care and shelter

·         Vulnerability of Ashland’s water supply


Staff went on to explain funding came from Title 3 Grants for wildfire preparedness around the urban interface and the weed abatement program was funded through Water revenues.  The Conflagration Act will reimburse Ashland’s Fire Resources.  Other City resources will apply to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the County and receive reimbursement of 75% of costs incurred.  


Per a request from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Chief Karns was unable to state how the fire was started but confirmed both fires that occurred that day were not related.    


The Fire Department will mail out a CD to all citizens regarding fire preparedness and education, give presentations to Civic groups and look at other ways to educate the public regarding fire preparedness and prevention.   


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to place on an upcoming agenda discussion of general fund shortfalls and alternate revenue sources to meet these needs. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas suggested setting up a special taxing district for properties within the Wildland Urban Interface.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


2.   Does the Council approve of the Mayor's appointments to the Economic Development Strategy Policy Group and Technical Advisory Committee, as well as the proposed initial layout of the public involvement?

Councilor Silbiger explained they were in the process of selecting governance and technical groups.  Mayor Stromberg added they would start meeting in November with results targeted for May of 2010. 


Councilor Jackson/Voisin m/s to confirm the Mayor’s list of appointments to the Economic Development Policy Group and Technical Advisory Committee.  Voice Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson and Silbiger, YES; Chapman, NO. Motion passed 5-1.



1.   Should the Council approve second reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Liquor License Review and Amending AMC Chapter 6.32"?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen read the following changes to Section 1. 6.32.050 City Council Delegation; City Recorder Duties:  “The City Council hereby delegates to the City Recorder the ability to process all OLCC liquor license applications or requests, except for applications for new or renewal licenses. Upon receipt of an application for a new or renewal liquor license, the City Recorder shall:”


Councilor Voisin/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2995.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.


2.   Should the Council approve second reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Chain Requirements for Commercial Vehicles"?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen read the ordinance title aloud that included the change to Definitions 11.22.010 B. Commercial Vehicle: “a vehicle that is used for the transportation of persons or property for compensation or profit, or that is used in conjunction with a business and the commercial vehicle weighs 10,000 pounds or more.  Commercial vehicle also includes all school buses, regardless or whether the school for which the bus is transporting students is public or private.”


Councilor Jackson/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #2996.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson, Voisin, Navickas and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


3.   Should the Council approve second reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Parking and Amending AMC 11.24.070"?

City Recorder Barbara Christensen read the ordinance title aloud that included the change to Section 1. 11.24.070 Moving vehicle, striking:  “No person shall move and re-park a vehicle within the same block, as defined in AMC 11.08.080, in order to avoid a parking time limit regulation,” adding: “If a vehicle is moved and re-parked within the same block, as defined by AMC 11.08.080, the time period shall continue to run,” and striking:  “if the vehicle is moved to another parking space within the same block except that the time period shall be terminated if such vehicle is moved to a block that does not have a specified time period for parking.”


Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to approve Ordinance #2997.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Silbiger, Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas and Chapman,  YES. Motion passed.



3.   Should the Council approve first reading of an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance Relating to Fireworks and Amending AMC 15.28.070"

Fire Chief John Karns provided the staff report that proposed banning fireworks year round southwest of  Siskiyou Boulevard and gave a presentation that included:

·         Fireworks Facts

·         United State Fire Administration

·         Ashland Fireworks Ordinance

·         Fire Facts

·         It’s about Managing the Risk

·         Ariel photos of Ashland and the watershed

·         Historical Fire Movement

·         Why a year-round restriction


Chief Karns acknowledged the previous effort to ban fireworks citywide was unsuccessful and explained this proposal would at the minimum prioritize fire risk to the watershed.


Sally McKirgan/351 Bridge Street/Supported the fireworks ban above the boulevard but thought it would increase fire danger below the boulevard.  Ashland needed an equitable solution that was good for the entire City. 

Carl McKirgan/351 Bridge Street/Explained the Fire Department’s CD mailing would be a good time to promote fireworks prohibition.  He shared experiences from a fire in San Francisco, compared the landscape there with Ashland, and agreed on a citywide ban of fireworks.  


Graham Lewis/152 N Pioneer/Explained how a fire in Ashland on a previous Fourth of July was started by fireworks.  He supported and encouraged a citywide ban on fireworks.  


Council discussed a potential citywide ban and the difficulty of enforcement.  Police Chief Terry Holderness

Confirmed the difficulty of enforcing a citywide ban noting this would be a cultural change that would happen gradually over the next 5-7 years.  Banning fireworks above the Siskiyou Boulevard would have officers enforcing the ordinance in that area more than below the boulevard where there would be a likely increase in fireworks use.


Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to amend the ordinance to read that the use of fireworks be prohibited at all times in all areas of the City.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman wanted the most effective decision and would support the ordinance.  Councilor Navickas thought it was another step in protecting the watershed and fire prevention.  Councilor Silbiger noted the City would lose the family fireworks experience and unfortunately the illegal fireworks would remain.  Councilor Lemhouse added this would further protect the town and made logical sense.  Councilor Voisin commented the ordinance was a protective measure.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Silbiger, Chapman, Lemhouse and Voisin; YES.  Councilor Jackson, NO.  Motion passed 5-1.



City Recorder Barbara Christensen read the ordinance title, changes to the ordinance and the amendment to prohibit fireworks citywide, aloud.


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


4.   Does the Council want to direct staff to prepare and submit an application to Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for an Immediate Opportunity Fund (IOF) grant of up to one million dollars to be used for road construction at the Croman Mill site?

Councilor Silbiger declared a conflict of interest.


Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to excuse Councilor Silbiger from the discussion. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Silbiger left the meeting at 10:25 p.m.


Project Manager Adam Hanks explained how the grant was connected to job creation with the City as a pass through entity for the owner-developer of the property and limited to roadway construction only.  Larry Holzgang from Business Oregon was available to answer questions.  


Staff further explained an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) would exist between the City and ODOT.  Additionally, the City would have contracts with the developer and business owner regarding job creation that would secure the money should job creation not occur.  Actual road location and other improvements would be determined prior to project execution.


Mr. Holzgang explained the project did not require a certain employment density overall just a job creation requirement with Plexis as the first tenant.  The number of jobs would determine funding and Plexis would be responsible for creating those jobs or incur a repayment requirement.  Staff added it would be a development agreement and trust deed where the City would hold the property as collateral.  The owner of Plexis would sign an agreement with the City prior to any action. 


Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to direct staff to prepare a grant submittal to provide the opportunity for Council to review prior to formal submittal.


Further discussion was delayed due to time constraints.


5.   Should the Council authorize the signing of a land use application that would include modifications to city-owned, public property along Winburn Way?

Delayed due to time constraints.



1.   Discussion regarding AFR letter.

Delayed due to time constraints.


2.   Discussion regarding Council Seating.

Delayed due to time constraints.


3.   Will the Council adopt a Resolution supporting HR3745, the Community Access Preservation Act, which addresses critical and immediate threats to PEG regulation (Public Education, Government) and to contact the Oregon congressional delegation to support passage of the legislation?

Delayed due to time constraints.

4.   Discussion regarding default on a Food and Beverage Tax Agreement.

Delayed due to time constraints.



Delayed due to time constraints.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:31 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

John Stromberg, Mayor





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