Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commissioner Study Session Minutes

Monday, June 11, 2012

City of Ashland

June 11, 2012

Present:  Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent:   Commissioner Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Silbiger

Eggers called the study session to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

Robertson said the commission toured the historic Enders Shelter in Lithia Park on May 14 but lacked time to discuss their findings. He referenced two proposals for the structure, prepared by Allan Goffe of ACE Engineering in conjunction with Kistler Small & White Architects:
·   Option 1: Stabilize the structure, including a lateral (seismic) design for the lower main support, and maintain the historic status of the shelter. Cost: $7,800.
·   Option 2: Stabilize the structure, including a lateral (seismic) design for the lower main support, replace the upper roof structure to meet current codes for snow and lateral resistance, and maintain the historic status of the shelter. Costs: $7,800 plus $3,200 for the additional work.

Dickens said current conditions were unsafe and another option was the complete removal of the structure. Robertson said the commission appeared to want basic upgrades and repairs to the foundation, fountain, and plumbing to allow for the shelter’s retention in its current location.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Eggers asked for a recommitment to environmental protection and riparian areas during the Lithia Park master plan process and for minimal repairs to the Enders Shelter. Lewis voiced support for Option 1: pouring a new concrete slab, shoring up the foundation and roof supports, installing a new drinking fountain, and replacing the wood shake roof. He said improvements could provide another 30 years of functionality barring a major flood. Seffinger said many people with whom she spoke supported preserving the Perozzi Fountain rather than the Enders Shelter. Landt said he wanted only minimal repairs for the shelter. Lewis said the fountain and the main Lithia Park bridge were included in the earliest park development and the fountain was a great amenity but the commission needed to consider future maintenance costs following costly repairs.

Dickens was directed to obtain a conceptual design for shelter repairs along with cost estimates to allow the pre-application process to begin. 

Robertson said staff reviewed the current Open Space Plan, with assistance from Planning Director Bill Molnar and Trails Supervisor Jeffrey McFarland, and identified properties with status changes since the plan’s 2002 adoption. He said changes occurred as a result of land purchases by the department or because of easements on some properties. He said Senior Planner Brandon Goldman was invited to speak about the relationship between the plan, staff’s work with the plan, and how the City’s Comprehensive Plan dovetailed with it.

Robertson and Goldman spoke of two options: 1) a light update to the OS Plan map in which previously identified parcels were re-colored to reflect status changes; and 2) a full update requiring council approval. Another suggested option was overlaying the approved Trails Master Plan onto the OS Plan, as the trails plan provided more detailed information about trail corridors.

Goldman said the City’s Comprehensive Plan included a goal of providing an Open Space Plan. He said he and Landt worked on the OS map in 2001 and 2002 along with citizens and neighbors and the plan went before the Parks and Planning commissions before going to council for adoption. He said if changes were made, they would fall within the realm of the Planning Commission. He indicated that adding more categories, such as acquired but not yet developed properties, was acceptable for the lightly updated version.

Lewis said the commission could add new properties to the plan, such as the potential second dog park proposed on numerous occasions. Landt said City demographics changed since the plan’s 2002 adoption. For example, he said soccer was popular in 2002, accounting for several parcels identified in the OS Plan for additional soccer fields. He said he did not want people to have expectations about parcels becoming neighborhood parks when the land might not be needed for parks. He said some of the long-term parcels were moved forward while short-term parcels were not and that was another reason to revise the plan and shape it to current needs. He suggested moving through the parcels piece by piece to consider whether they fit into the short- or long-term property lists. Eggers said if the commission chose to fully review the plan, she wanted them to think about priorities for development in terms of demographics, matching funds, and current priorities. Landt agreed that a light update would be the obvious first step. Robertson said most of the City was covered in terms of having a neighborhood park within ¼-mile radius. Landt suggested talking with the school district about purchasing the former Briscoe and Lincoln Elementary School playgrounds, currently serving as neighborhood parks. Lewis suggested keeping developed parcels on the plan even though they might not be available for purchase at present. Seffinger suggested looking above the boulevard for park opportunities, since there were more parks below.

Staff was directed to work with GIS on the light update and present it to the commission for further discussion. Goldman said this would be a working plan that could denote parcels previously acquired without the need for removing them.

Staff Updates
Lithia Artisans Market Request
Robertson said the Lithia Artisans Market approached staff about expanding their market from the Calle over to the sidewalk in Lithia Park adjacent to Winburn Way. He asked the commission if they wished to include the request on a future agenda or invite the artisans to speak during Open Forum during a regular meeting. Commissioners agreed to not include the item on an agenda. Dials said their contract was set for renewal in 2013 and the discussion about increased space could occur at that time.

Selling in the Park
Robertson said an article would appear in the newspaper soon about two artists possibly selling art in an unauthorized section of Lithia Park. He said staff was in communication with the CAP Officer and Park Patrol about issuing citations for unauthorized selling.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Parks Staff
Robertson said the commission would receive information about COLAs for Parks staff in their regular meeting packets. He said, as discussed with employees and management, the COLAs would be based on west coast CPI on March 31, which came in at 2.9%. He said this would formalize previous discussions and he asked if the commission wished for all regular employees to receive the COLA or only non-management staff. The commission voiced support for all regular employees to receive the 2.9% COLA.

Return of Lincoln Statue Head
Robertson said a previously stolen head of the Lincoln statue suddenly reappeared at the Lithia Park shop.

Vacation Announcement
Robertson said he would be on vacation the following week for a family vacation.

By consensus, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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