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Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
August 23, 2018
Commissioner Chair Rohde called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Gina DuQuenne Jackie Bachman
Rich Rohde  
Erin Crowley SOU Liaison
Erica Franks None
Heidi Parker  
Linda Reppond Staff Present:
Absent: Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Tom Gunderson Carolyn Schwendener
Sue Crader  
Parker/DuQuenne m/s to approve the minutes of the July 26, 2018 regular Housing and Human Services Commission meeting as written.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed.
No one spoke at public forum however audience member and Ashland resident Ina Dickinson introduced herself.
City of Ashland Senior Planner, Brandon Goldman, gave a presentation of the Regional Housing Strategy.  Goldman explained this Strategic Plan was born out of a Regional Problem Solving (RPS) effort.  The plan was created in order to address a number of issues including expansion of cities which could take over our valuable farm and forest lands.  They were looking at finding a mechanism to coordinate that Regional growth.  In 2003 the City of Ashland made a decision to notify the RPS process that the City did not intend to propose Urban Reserves.
After the presentation the Commissioners asked Goldman a few questions.
At the time the City decided they could accommodate the growth within the City without expanding the limits, would it have been difficult to do an urban reserve area?  What was the downside?
Deciding where those lands would be could be difficult.  It could possibly take away from our farm land.  Goldman added the rate of growth in Ashland has decreased as well as the number of people per household.
In the past haven’t we ruled out rural renewal projects because it is extremely hard to identify blighted areas?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a blighted redevelopment area, explained Goldman.  If we established an Urban Renewal District, it could be possible to develop a large land area rather than just the blight areas.
Does the inclusionary zoning just pertain to land within Ashland or land that is being annexed into the City?
Both, responded Goldman.  Oregon has an inclusionary zoning program where you can require affordable housing units for developments of twenty units or more on a single parcel within the City limits.  Currently Ashland has the inclusionary zoning for annexation for large scale developments of ten or more units.   Ten percent of the units have to be affordable, consequently most of the Commercial developments are nine units or less.  
Do the recommendations of this Commission go to the Council?
Yes, this will come back before the Commission once more for their comments.  Goldman pointed out at this time the intention is to have some of the strategies adopted into local ordinances not just the report.  Each Community will take this ECONorthwest Document to their City Council and have it acknowledged as a technically supportive document to the comprehensive Plan Housing Element.  It then becomes a document that can be referenced, conveyed Goldman.  City Staff has reached out to the Department of Land Conservation Development to see if there are any additional resources to assist in moving this forward.  Assistance from a Consultant would be very helpful.
The Commissioners agreed they could use further clarification on tax increment financing. as well as land banking.  Knowing the pros and cons of each strategy would be helpful.
Reid distributed a hand out that included City Zones and what development is allowed in each zone. See exhibit A at the end of the minutes. Put this on next month’s agenda for an update.
Franks reported the sub-committee recently met to discuss the upcoming Social Service Grant Outreach, deciding whom to speak with and what questions to ask.  Frank emphasized they need the support from this Commission in order to get the word out and encourage people to participate in the questionnaire. Reid spoke with City Senior Services Superintendent Isleen Glatt about doing the survey at the Senior Center during lunch. Ms. Glatt is checking to be sure this will be OK.  Councilor Bachman informed the Commission that a recent comprehensive survey was done at the Senior Center and wondered if it that data would be helpful to this group. They agreed it would be.  Bachman will send the survey and results to Reid who will forward it on to the Commissioners. The Commissioners were reminded they can only respond back to Reid do not send group emails as it becomes a meeting. 
DuQuenne spoke with John Darling from the Ashland Daily Tidings and he is willing to put the information about the survey along with a link to it in the paper.  DuQuenne said the Commission would just need to come up with a small description of what the survey is about.
The Commissioners reviewed the questionnaire and made a few changes. Added demographics (age, housing categories and do they live in Ashland)
After compiling the data from the survey along with the information gathered from the October forum this Commission will need to decide whether or not it’s necessary to change the priorities of the Strategic Plan.  If the priorities are changed what would that process, be?  Would the City Council need to approve the changes? Reid will discuss the process with Community Development Director Bill Molnar and get back with the Commission.
Parker reported the Committee is continuing to work on this and things are moving forward, slowly but surely.  Bachman stated the new City Administrator, Kelly Madding, needs to work with staff on having the right attitude on risk management.  She went on to explain thirty-five square feet per person is the number they were using to determine occupancy in Pioneer Hall and the local Churches.  The Fire Marshall, Ralph Sartain, said it should have been two hundred square feet per person but he is willing to cut it down to one hundred.  At one hundred square feet per person we would only be able to accommodate seventeen people including staff.  That is not acceptable, remarked Bachman.  Parker added if the buildings had sprinklers the amount of people would increase to thirty-four.  Parker mentioned the Committee is looking at another building aside from the Churches and Pioneer Hall.  They will have the needed information on the building and cost value at the end of this month.  The new owner of the proposed building is very supportive.
Rhode reported that the Faith Summit on August 15th had over 130 people attend.  Some of the participants would like to continue to meet.  The goals were education and expansion of the congregations that are working together around issues of homelessness.  The City of Medford is going through a process of changing their code requirements and the definition of emergency shelters, specifically in regards to fire safety and occupancy, added Parker.  This might be something our City Council will look at in the future. 
The Commissioners reviewed the two brochures in the packet and made suggestions and changes.  The goal is to make one brochure out of the two for the purpose of educating developers what the City does to help incentivize the development of needed housing types.  The Community Development Department offers handouts to the public explaining what is allowed in what zones and what the planning process is.  Reid will bring back those handouts to the next meeting.
Council Liaison Report – Bachman reported at the Council meeting they approved two ordinances.  The Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance first reading and the Uber/Lyft Ordinance first reading. 
Staff Liaison Report – Reid sent an email to the Mayor regarding the appointment of a SOU liaison.  The Mayor responded he still has some things to consider and is not ready to put him forward at this time. Reid explained the Continuum of Care Grants are open for application.  Five applications have been submitted.  HUD is offering a $50,000 Domestic Violence Bonus Grant this year, emphasized Reid.  Community Works is partnering with the Housing Authority of Jackson County to do a Rapid Rehousing Project for women/men and children experiencing domestic violence. We combine the applications and submit one combined application to HUD.  The combined application needs to be submitted by December 15th.  The applications are;
  • Community Works transition living for youth
  • Woodrow Pines (4 beds for people with mental illness)
  • HMIS, planning grants for data collection and administration
  • Home at last – which may be cut due to funding and a lower score than the previous three
  • Rogue Retreat submitted but scored the lowest.They will be working with landlords, security deposit assistance for people moving from transitional housing to permanent housing in private market units.  
Reid handed out brochures she received at the last Homeless Task Force meeting; 2018 Project Community Connect event breakdown, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Forum.  See exhibit B and C at the end of the minutes.
Announcement – Rohde announced the Mobile Park Conference is happening on October 4th and registration for the event is now online. You can begin to register today.  The event is free and held at Ashland Hills Hotel from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm.  The conference will look at the use of mobile home parks and mobile home living as a way of sustainable housing.
Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting-4:30-6:30 PM; September 27, 2018, at 51 Winburn Way.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener 

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