Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Lemhouse, and Voisin were present. 
  1. Public Input
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Explained solutions to climate change were predominantly solar panels on roofs and electric cars.  Recent technology would reduce one hundred years of testing to just six months.  China constructed one hundred solar panel factories that cut the cost by a quarter. 
Barry Thaldon/550 Ashland Loop/Addressed the public art process currently in place.  He supported removing public art from the planning requirement for Type 1 review.  With public art, intentions came first and ordinance and policies followed.  Council needed to determine their intention regarding public art.  The current policies, guidelines, and ordinances discouraged public art.  He submitted a document into the record of the process he went through with the Calle Guanajuato mural and noted the City of Portlandís public art process.
The process for the Calle Guanajuato mural required several commission and agency reviews where each had approval authority.  The approval process was tenuous and anyone from the specific commissions involved, the City, or neighbors could object.  
Bernie Biedak/911 Beach Street/Came to Ashland in 1970 and was the one responsible for bringing in the people who created businesses that made the town so successful.  He expressed his issues with the Public Arts Commission, the gateway art project, the plaza, and the use of taxpayersí money.  He felt he owned it all.  He was upset with the way his money was being spent, and extremely displeased with the choices made regarding public art.
2.   Look Ahead review
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
3.   Continued discussion of planning for City Hall replacement
Public Works Project Manager Kaylea Kathol, Dana Ing-Crawford, and Ken Ogden from Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture (ORW) explained there were three potential options to replace City Hall.  One would vertically expand the existing site retaining the historic faÁade or building a new building on the site.  The second would vertically expand the Community Development building and the third was a new building in the Lithia Way parking lot with parking underneath.  They were soliciting feedback from Council regarding general design priorities with the understanding it was early in the process.  Alternately, Council could forward design requests to Ms. Kathol. 
Council suggested adding (Correction to minutes made 7-19-2016 changing LED to LEED), solar potential to design priorities and wanted to know the cost to have the building be Earth Advantage Zero Energy ready.  Other comments were interested in using the available footprint, consolidating staff, and balancing public accessibility with staff safety.  Opposing comments preferred a high-level LEED equivalent and questioned the ability to have a four-story building have enough solar access for Earth Advantage.  Another comment wanted the building able to withstand an earthquake prior to adding options.  Council also wanted public input with an update from the project team before September.
ORW described how they would solicit feedback from the community through an open house, social media, the utility billing mailer, city website, and other avenues.  The City Administrator would get information on the current building and possible restrictions, moving or selling costs and the revisionary clause.
Council concerns included the community perception, energy efficiency, and accessibility.  ORW would use a consensus building approach so the community understood the need to create safe and functional facilities.  Other concerns noted it was an election year and the Council could have new councilors with different opinions regarding the option for City Hall.
4.   Proposed changes related to public art in Chapter 18
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained removing the public art portion from the site design review process in Chapter 18 Land Use of the Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) would no longer make it subject to the legal parameters required for development.  It would also remove the appeal process.  These requirements pertained to development and not public art.  Staff suggested adding a review by city commissions to AMC 2.29 Public Art.  This change would continue to provide the Historic Commission with oversight regarding public art on structures listed in the National Register and contributing properties in a historic district.  Staff also suggested waiving the fee through the Miscellaneous Fees and Charges resolution.  City Attorney Dave Lohman clarified appeals in Chapter 18 went through the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and the state did not deem public art as part of land use.  There would have to be criteria or a procedural objection in order for a citizen to object to the mural recently painted on the Calle Guanajuato.  Council was interested in adding guidelines on murals to AMC 2.29.
The Historic Commissionís review of public art would remain the same.  What would change were recommendations that currently went to staff and the Planning Commission under site design review would now go to the Public Arts Commission and the Council instead.
Historic Commission Chair Dale Shostrom read from the Comprehensive Plan regarding the Historic Commissionís responsibility to protect the heritage of the buildings, landscapes, and streetscapes.  He clarified landscapes and streetscape were currently not part of the Historic Commissionís purview.  The code required Historic Commission review of art installations attached to historic buildings or contributing properties.  He thought the ordinance should expand to include review of all public art proposed in historic districts using mass, scale, materials, and location as criteria for recommendations. The Commissionís review should occur early in the process as it had with the Theater Corridor art project.  He also thought the cost estimate for City Hall replacement should include an intermediary option that was less extensive than a complete rebuild and reside within the existing north and east walls.  The Historic Commission wanted to retain public art in the site design review with possible modifications.  They did very little with the Findings and had no opinion on requiring them.
Both the Historic Commission and Public Arts Commission were agreeable to having the Public Arts Commission discuss projects before the solicitation process began with the Historic Commission.
Council, staff, and Chair Shostrom discussed the possibility of moving review of public art out of site design review and placing it in another section of Chapter 18 or strengthening Chapter 2.29.  The appeals process appeared to be in the wrong section of the code.  Staff could limit the appeals process and possibly add it under Chapter 2.29.  
Meeting adjourned at 7:28 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                          
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder

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