Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Continued Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, May 18, 2006

MINUTES FOR THE CONTINUED MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 18, 2006
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the Continued Council Meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
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ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Hartzell arrived at 6:05 p.m.
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UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Downtown Plan - Phase 1 Council Update.
Interim Community Developer Director Bill Molnar explained this item is intended to provide an update on the consultants work to define the process and create a work program for the production of a revised Downtown Plan. Mr. Molnar explained the consultants Crandall & Arambula conducted a workshop, which had over 200 participants, and utilized the information they received to create a draft scope of work, identify steps and a preliminary budget, and develop a timeline. He noted that members from the Downtown Planning Committee were present to discuss possible next steps with Council.

Mayor Morrison questioned what "agency staff" is referring to on Page 9 of the report. Mr. Molnar stated this may be an error and stated he would find out what this term refers to.

Mr. Molnar clarified a full time employee would need to spend approximately 10 hours a week on the Downtown Plan, depending on the final scope of work. He noted that additional support staff may also be needed to organize the meetings and public involvement activities. He also clarified both the Planning and Public Works staff would need to assist on the Collect and Review Information item.

John Stromberg/Downtown Planning Committee/Commented on the history of this process and the efforts of the Downtown Planning Committee. He noted the committee worked hard to get people involved and stated they are a self-managed committee. Mr. Stromberg stated they have proved this committee has the ability to perform some of the necessary staff functions and commented that the community is energized and interested in this process. He requested that the Council direct the City Administrator to negotiate a contract with Crandall & Arambula with a start date of September 1, 2006 and to get this project started.

Michael Dawkins/Downtown Planning Committee/Stated it is incumbent on the Council to make this their number one priority and commented on the need to look at the Downtown Plan and to become more proactive.

Larry Medinger/115 Fork Street/Voiced support for taking on the Downtown Plan at this time. He stated a new Planning Director will be key to carrying this process through to the end, but does not feel they should wait to get started. He commented on Lithia Way becoming a "canyon", stated there are a number of properties that are about to be developed, and recommended underground parking in the downtown area.

Ryan Langemeyer/1700 E. Nevada/Commented on the lack of residents in the downtown area and stated Crandall & Arambula's plan would address this. He commented on the consultant's 120-day action program and feels this is the most part of the program. He stated that after the program is done, the consultants would remain involved to ensure that elements of the plan are implemented. Mr. Langemeyer voiced his support for this project and awarding Crandall & Arambula the contract.

Juli Teitelbaum/237 Almond Street/Owns property and businesses in the downtown area and voiced support for protecting the downtown by developing a Downtown Plan. Ms. Teitelbaum stated the City would start to lose tourists if this issue is not addressed and voiced her objections to postponing the development of the Downtown Plan.

Bryan Holley/324 Liberty Street/Suggested the Chamber of Commerce possibly close the plaza area to vehicles a few times a year in order to enhance commercial opportunities and commented that civil discourse is becoming less civil and stated they are ways this plan can work for everyone.

Comment was made voicing appreciation for the efforts of the subcommittee, but noting the current demands on the budget. Suggestion was made to follow staff's recommendation to stabilize the Planning Department before taking on this project.

Councilor Hartzell/Chapman m/s to ask Planning staff to negotiate a contract with Crandall & Arambula with a potential start date of September 1, 2006 to implement the next phase of the Downtown Plan. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hardesty suggested including dates in the motion. Comment was made clarifying potential motions were submitted to Council through an email from John Stromberg

Councilor Hardesty/Hartzell m/s to amend motion to draft a contract with Crandall & Arambula and bring it to Council for approval at its first meeting in August, 2006; start date for Phase II should be scheduled as close to September 1, 2006 as the consultant can accommodate. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, and Chapman, YES. Councilor Jackson and Silbiger, NO. Motion Passed 4-2.

Councilor Hartzell noted her involvement in previous Downtown Plan projects and stated she is not interested in indicating to the citizens that this Council cannot help staff move forward on things. She stated there is conflict in the community regarding the downtown and believes the consultant has the capacity to move the City through this and feels the citizen volunteers can assist.

Councilor Amarotico voiced his support for the Downtown Planning Committee and for Crandall & Arambula but is not in favor of taking action at this time.

Councilor Silbiger commented that there are other priorities that need to come before this project, including the hiring of a Planning Director and completion of the Operational Review and AMC review. He stated the Council made some difficult decisions in setting priorities for this year and voiced support waiting until next year to take action.

Councilor Hardesty stated the work of the Downtown Planning Committee has demonstrated this can get done without a lot of work on staff and voiced support for moving forward at this time.

Councilor Jackson stated that this was not the time to revisit Council Goals and stated she is not in favor of placing this one project ahead of all the other priorities in the Planning Department.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to call for the question. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion Passed 5-1.

Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Hardesty, Hartzell and Chapman, YES. Councilor Amarotico, Jackson and Silbiger, NO. Mayor Morrison, NO. Motion Failed 4-3.

Councilor Hartzell commented that the Council has not adopted Council Goals and therefore they have not set priorities on those goals.

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OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss proposal for Park maintenance of School District Playgrounds.
Item delayed due to time constraints.
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ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor


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