City Council (View All)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
CITY COUNCIL ASHLAND
November 20, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF BOARD AND COMMISSION VACANCIES
Mayor Morrison announced vacancies on the various commissions and committees and noted anyone who is interested can apply at the City Recorders Office.
SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?
The minutes of the Special Meeting of October 29, 2007, Study Session of November 5, 2007, Executive Session of November 6, 2007 and Regular Council Meeting of November 6, 2007 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Silver Maple tree located at
1. Does the Council wish to adopt the Public Art Master Plan?
2. Does the Council wish to confirm the Mayor’s appointment of
3. Will Council consent to appoint the Mayor’s recommended members to the SDC Committee?
4. Will Council consent to appoint the Mayor’s recommended members to the Facilities Master Plan Ad Hoc Committee?
5. Will Council consent to award the contract for construction of the Water Treatment Plant Process Improvements to Triad Mechanical, Inc. of
6. Will City Council, as the Local Contract Review Board, consent to enter into a public contract with Owen Equipment for the purchase of a Sewer Vacuum Cleaning Combo Truck at a cost of $275,308.00?
Mayor Morrison noted Consent Agenda Item #1 has been moved to New & Miscellaneous Business. He also noted the following corrections to the Consent Agenda: 1) in regards to the Facilities Master Plan Ad Hoc Committee, he requested Housing Commissioner Carol Voisin be added to the group, and 2) regarding the SDC Committee, he noted that Steve Hauck is representing the Housing Commission, and Liz Peck is the citizen member.
Councilor Hartzell/Hardesty m/s to approve Consent Agenda Items as amended. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
1. Does the Council find that the negotiated development agreement (Verde Village) that governs a land exchange, three annexations, a Comprehensive Plan Map and Zone change, and Outline Plan and exception to street standards, a physical constraints review permit, and a tree removal permit is consistent with State law, City Code and City policies either as presented or as modified?
Mayor Morrison called the Continued Public Hearing to order at 7:16 p.m.
Ex Parte Contacts
Councilor Hardesty noted her brief contact with Kerry KenCairn during the intermission at the November 6, 2007 Council Meeting. She indicated this would not affect her judgment and stated the contact was limited to a brief interaction while reviewing a map. Councilor Chapman noted the receipt of an email from Conservation Commissioner Risa Buck, which has been entered into the record. Mayor Morrison and Councilors Jackson, Silbiger, Hartzell and Navickas reported no ex parte contact.
Comment was made questioning the appropriateness of the letter of support submitted by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Mike Gardiner.
Those Wishing to Provide Testimony – In Favor or Opposed
Andrea Benton/1180 Park Street/Voiced support for the Verde Village project. She stated the project is
well located, close to many services, and an ideal location for solar access. Ms. Benton also commented on bicycle access and the use of electric bicycles.
Christopher Dymond/625 Marion Street, NE Salem/Announced he works for the Oregon Department of Energy as their High Performance Home Building Specialist. He commented on building zero energy homes and noted the legislation, which provides up to $12,000 per home for the builders of projects that qualify. Mr. Dymond clarified these are tax credits and would match with federal incentives.
Don McCoy/406 S. Riverside Drive, Medford/Stated he is a real estate agent and shared his excitement about the opportunities of this project. Mr. McCoy stated these properties are all reviewed by third party certifications, which gives them significant value, and commented that the building materials and supplies
will be extremely energy efficient. He stated this is a significant building project that will be more outstanding that anything in the immediate area and stated the savings in the long term are significant and long lasting.
Mr. McCoy briefly commented on FSC wood and clarified it is more expensive right now and is not necessarily the best choice for some projects.
Dan Thorndike/369 Granite Street/Voiced support for the project and stated this is exactly the type of project Ashland needs. He commented on the distance from Ashland’s core and stated the location is not far from City services. He stated this is a great project; the land exchange makes sense, and recommended Council’s unanimous approval.
John Wheeler/2430 Greenbrook, Medford/Announced he is the Director of Acquisitions and Construction for RVCDC. Mr. Wheeler stated this is a wonderful opportunity to provide 15 units of affordable housing. He stated this is a huge thing and they are thankful to be apart of it and thanked the Williams and the City for considering it.
Art Bullock/Stated this project is a major improvement compared to many developments in the way the
houses are positioned. He commented on solar access and noted this project aligns the houses and roofs to maximize solar access. Mr. Bullock stated there is an issue regarding the amount of work that is transferred from the developer to the homeowner and stated this is the weakness of the project. He suggested that in order to balance out what the developer is being given, there be clear documentation and measurements of what the actual energy savings will be. He stated it is not possible to specify this in advance, but the City could set conditions as part of the approval so that these are realized.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99S/Stated the proposal to put houses at the former greenhouse site makes tremendous sense on many levels and strongly urged Council approval of this project. He briefly commented on potential alternatives and asked the Council to set aside minor concerns about the project and think progressively.
Rebuttal by the Applicant
Galin Ohmart(Architect)/Indicated the homes are designed to be 50% better than code, and clarified even if the homeowner does nothing, their home will be performing 50% better on their energy bills. Mr. Ohmart commented on good envelope design and passive solar heating and noted use of good appliances. He stated these would be the best homes seen in
Valerie Williams (Applicant)/Stated what has been presented is the most environmentally sensitive subdivision project in
to the dog park, and 15 affordable units.
Comment was made questioning why the applicant is not required to locate a street adjacent to the riparian area.
Kerry KenCairn(Landscape Architect)/Stated if there were a road located at the top of Ashland Creek it would be overkill, and there would be too many roads for the amount of property that is there. She added that
a road located at the top of the riparian zone would not be the best use of that property.
Alex Forrester(Planning Consultant)Stated that when the traffic engineer looked at this project, he recommended that the road access not be placed next to creek due to potential traffic and runoff problems.
Ms. KenCairn added the reason the current ordinance recommends placing the street at the top of the riparian zone is to keep people from expanding their homes into the riparian zone. She stated the bike path and the fence solve that problem and therefore the intent of the ordinance is still honored. She added that it is an environmental benefit to not have a street next to the riparian zone.
Chris Hearn (Attorney)/Clarified that CC&R’s are not included at outline plan approval. He stated the applicant will present the CC&R’s to the City when they come back for final plan approval and staff will have the opportunity to review and call up any of the restrictions if there is concern of them bring out of compliance.
Ms. KenCairn commented on the landscaping and clarified the trees will only go where appropriate to not interfere with solar access.
Comment was made questioning how long the 50% energy savings will hold. Mr. Ohmart stated that all of the systems have a life span and like all equipment, they will need to be maintained and eventually replaced.
Mr. Ohmart commented on Solar Performance Standard A and noted that it may be necessary for them to seek a variance. He added that solar ordinances are designed to protect an individual’s right to not have their neighbor shade their property and that this is not an issue since all of the homes will be designed as a group. Mr. Forrester commented on how the specific units will be placed and explained that the CC&R’s will require that the solar window be maintained. Ms. KenCairn noted the houses are not permitted to get any larger.
Public Hearing Closed – 8:19 p.m.
Requests to Submit Final Written Argument – None.
Mayor Morrison announced deliberations would be moved to Unfinished Business.
2. Does the Council approve a statement of intent to limit the use of the
City Engineer Jim Olson presented the staff report and provided some history on this project. He noted the Council Goal to improve at-grade railroad crossings and explained ODOT Rail has indicated in order to for
the City to make improvements at the Hersey/Laurel crossing they must also address the Glenn Street
Mr. Olson stated staff’s recommendation is to close the
vehicles, there is a significant amount of vegetation, the crossing grades are not standard, and it would be very difficult to make an approved improvement to the crossing. He explained that ODOT has recommended the crossing be closed and has offered the incentive of improving Oak Street in return. He added that closing the crossing could also be used as a bargaining chip for the improvement of adjacent railroad crossings.
Mr. Olson listed the positives and negatives for closing the Glenn Street crossing. Positives included: 1) it would allowing the City to move forward with the Hersey/Laurel Street crossing, 2) it could provide a credit for the creation of crossings in the future, 3) the cost of the closure would be much less than a full improvement, 4) Glenn Street is not an essential emergency provider route, 5) there would be no limitations to access existing driveways, and 6) the traffic volumes on Glenn Street are the lowest of all of the nine railroad crossings. Negatives for closing the crossing included: 1) it would require some out of direction travel for vehicles, 2) it would likely place more demand on the Laurel Street, Helman Street, and Oak Street crossings, 3) it would eliminate the shortest connection from the Quiet Village area to N. Main Street, and 4) ODOT has the authority to close the crossing regardless of the City’s wishes.
Mr. Olson commented that with improvements to the Hersey/Laurel intersection, including having crossing gates in place, they could possibly change this to a 2-way stop. He explained that increasing the level of
service at the intersection is likely. He clarified Hersey Street has a carrying capacity in excess of 8,000 vehicles per day and the 900 additional trips created by the Glenn Street closure would be insignificant.
Public Works Director Paula Brown added the intersection is the limiting factor on the streets and with full improvements and reducing it to a 2-way stop, cars will be able to move through quicker and the level of service will be increased.
Mr. Olson clarified the City did receive funding for the Oak Street project, however he would not expect
funds from the ODOT Rail Division for another project in the near future. Ms. Brown commented on the different sources of grant funds and stated the City currently has a grant for some of the railroad crossing improvements and they will continue to apply for transportation and enhancement grants and sidewalk grants. However, without the approved intersection and crossing improvements at Laurel/Hersey, ODOT Rail will
not sign off and they will have sign off authority on some of the other ODOT grants. She clarified that without ODOT Rails approval; the City is unable to get the bicycle and pedestrian grants for the sidewalks on
Mr. Olson clarified if the
or biased by prior contacts or involvement with this project, and will make their decision based solely on the application of the relevant criteria and standards to the facts and evidence in the record of this proceeding.
Public Hearing Open: 8:38 p.m.
Harold Lee/258 Orange Avenue/Stated he is not in favor of the closure, as it would affect his properties. Mr. Lee noted the foster care facilities in the area and expressed concern with safety and the ingress and egress to the neighborhood. He stated the closure would create a safety concern and questioned if the Traffic Safety Commission has reviewed this. Mr. Lee shared a personal life threatening emergency experience and stated if he would not have been able to use the Glenn Street crossing he would not have made it to Ashland Community Hospital in time.
Lija Appleberry/704 Willow Street/Stated she is against closing the
she avoids the Hersey/Laurel intersection because she was broadsided there once. She stated having more traffic on Hersey Street is not a good idea and it would not be wise to add more traffic to a street that is already dangerous.
further and questioned the cost of the project. She stated the
Drew Bailey/455 N. Laurel Street/Stated if only half of the 900 vehicles who use Glenn Street everyday use Laurel Street, Laurel Street’s volume will be increased to over 2,000 vehicle trips per day. He noted the
William Machado/181 Orange Avenue/Voiced his opposition to closing the
stated he believes this is more about money than safety. He questioned the use of a 2-way stop at Laurel and Hersey and stated this is a blind corner and it is not a good idea to increase traffic at this intersection.
Berit Larson/176 Orange Avenue/Voiced agreement with the statements made by Mr. Machado.
Ed McCurry/375 Otis Street/Stated he was not aware that the Glenn Street crossing was a problem and
stated the public has been clear that they want the Council to vote this proposal down. He questioned if they have really considered the effect the closure would have on emergency vehicles and questioned how much money is it worth to save a life. Mr. McCurry also noted the upcoming projects that will add more homes and vehicle trips to the area.
Councilor Navickas/Hartzell m/s to extend Public Hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES.
Motion passed 6-0.
John Wieczoerek/165 Orange Avenue/Stated the closure of the Glenn Street crossing would be inconsistent with at least two of the City’s goals. He noted the Planning objective of connectivity and stated the closure would cut off the most direct access to not only the hospital and Helman Elementary, but also the neighboring communities. He stated the other goal is regarding conservation and stated closing Glenn would cause more traffic and more greenhouse gas pollution. He also noted that as long as you use the stop sign, there are no sight limitations at that crossing.
Sheryl Langhofer/430 Willow Street/Stated she has never experienced any safety issues at the Glenn Street crossing and does not see any valid reason to close it. She stated the closure would increase traffic on Helman Street and would create more traffic and safety issues for the students at Helman Elementary. She stated the financial incentive offered by ODOT does not constitute the creation of a safety hazard and feels the residents of this area deserve the convenience of a direct route to their home and the security of knowing emergency vehicles have direct and rapid access. She stated they also deserve to not have their property value decreased by the removal of direct access and feels all Ashland residence should oppose this closure as it could create precedence for other crossings.
Gail Patton/822 Michelle Avenue/Stated the Glenn Street crossing is this neighborhoods only direct route to head north and stated this crossing is no more dangerous than any other crossing and it may be safer due to the curve of the street. She stated it sounds as though the railroad is trying to bribe Ashland into closing the crossing at the expense of all those who live and travel in the area.
Robin Robertson/707 Helman Street/Does not see the logic of increasing the number of residents in Quiet Village and then closing this access road. She stated the safety of the Laurel/Hersey intersection needs to be improved and does not believe it can handle an increase in traffic. Ms. Robertson added that the Glenn Street crossing is much safer than the Laurel crossing.
Bruce Robertson/707 Helman Street/Stated he uses Glenn Street whenever traveling north and stated it is much more convenient and shorter than going any other way. He stated it does not make sense for the City to expand to the north and then cut off this access route. Mr. Robertson stated installing a 2-way stop at the Laurel/Hersey intersection is not practical and would only cause more congestion than what currently exists.
Chris Hald/275 Cambridge Street/Stated the closure would result in increased traffic and noted there are three different subdivisions going into the area. He stated it is unfair that a large transportation company can change traffic all over the state because they do not want to spend money for safety. Mr. Hald requested that
John Semple/185 Almeda Drive/Stated it seems strange that the City would inconvenience 900 citizens for two trains that pass through during off traffic hours. He questioned if there have been any accidents reported at this crossing and believes this is about money. Mr. Semple questioned spending money to install a turnaround and shared an emergency situation where he needed to get to the hospital in a hurry. He also noted that there has not been one person who has spoken in favor of the closure.
Kindler Stout/130 Orange Avenue/Stated the Council made the right decision last time when they decided to not close the
Tom Pike/248 Orange Avenue/Spoke in favor of the closing. He stated he has children and commented on the safety of the children in Quiet Village. Mr. Pike agreed that there needs to be safety measures in this area due to Helman Elementary. He stated that
and believes the safety of children should take precedence over convenience. He added if the City does decide to close this crossing, he recommended sidewalks and speed bumps be installed on
Lance Bisaccia/302 Cambridge Street/Voiced his opposition to closing Glenn Street and stated this would
be a major inconvenience to the residents in Quiet Village. Mr. Bisaccia disagreed with some of staff’s
reasons for the closure and stated the crossing is not located on a steep hill and stated you can see for blocks at the stop sign. He noted the issues raised regarding emergency vehicle access and stated there are times when minutes or even seconds can make a big difference. He also questioned why the neighborhood was not better informed of this proposal and why the Traffic Safety Commission was not involved.
Mayor Morrison announced that the public hearing is required to end at 9:30 p.m. and this hearing would be continued to the next council meeting.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to continue hearing to the December 4, 2007 Council Meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
PUBLIC FORUM - None.
1. Continuation of the negotiated development agreement (Verde Village) that governs a land exchange, three annexations, a Comprehensive Plan Map and Zone change, and Outline Plan and exception to street standards, a physical constraints review permit, and a tree removal permit is consistent with State law, City Code and City policies either as presented or as modified?
Advice from Legal Counsel and Staff
Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson clarified there is a restriction that requires the property obtained from the land exchange be used for parks & recreation or open space purposes. He stated the Parks & Recreation Committee discussed for this area to include the extension of the Bear Creek Greenway trail, but they did not anticipate that it would be developed beyond that.
Senior Planner Maria Harris clarified the width of the path is addressed in Condition #13 of the Planning Commission recommendations.
Councilor Navickas questioned if the pathway could be located in the same location if it were a street. City Administrator Martha Bennett explained it is awkward for staff to answer his question because they have to deal with the project as it was submitted. Ms. Harris stated his question is difficult to answer because there are multiple standards that apply to the different aspects. She added that the standard that discusses placing a road between a natural feature and private yard areas is a street standard, and the intent of this is to provide a public way, at least visually, to the natural areas, but also to serve as a buffer between private yard areas and residences and the natural area.
Comment was made questioning what the developer is going to do to make the affordable unit net zero ready. Ms. Harris indicated it is staff understands that the applicant is going to give the land to RVCDC and it will be in their hands to pursue the grants to help them incorporate energy conservation measures.
It was questioned which department is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the development agreement. Mr. Appicello clarified this would be handled by Community Development and Legal. He explained there is a built in monitoring requirement where a report is submitted by the owner and staff then generates a
compliance report to provide to the Council. He added that State law requires that there be monitoring and compliance and this is included in Section 17 of the development agreement.
Ms. Bennett clarified the State will do a review appraisal and will determine the accuracy of the dollar figures in the appraisal. Mr. Robertson clarified Mr. Swales comments regarding the appraisal have been submitted to the State.
Ms. Harris reminded the Council of the applicant’s request for the number of units required to go through the City’s Earth Advantage Program be changed from 48 to 53 (Condition #27).
Council requested clarification on the condition numbers, which appear to be inconsistent. Ms. Harris recommended the Council’s motion be based on the condition numbers listed in the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
Mr. Appicello noted any motion from the Council would be a tentative oral decision and an ordinance would need to be brought back along with findings for both the land exchange and the development agreement.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed
Council Deliberation and Decision
Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to amend Condition #40, listed on page 58, to read: “That the final plan submittal shall address the usability including Verde Village community access of the open
spaces.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson explained her amendment would clarify the intent of this condition is not for the entire community of Ashland to have access to the public areas of the development. Councilor Navickas indicated his preference for the more general language and noted part of the development agreement is the park land access. Mr. Appicello clarified the development agreement is specific that the residents of the homeowners associations, not the general public, have access to the projects open space. Ms. Harris suggested the condition specify “private open spaces”. Motion was withdrawn.
Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to amend Condition #40, listed on page 58, to read: “That the final plan submittal shall address the usability including community access of the private open spaces.” Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson, Hartzell and Navickas, YES. Motion passed
Councilor Chapman/Hardesty m/s to amend Condition #26 to indicate that all affordable housing
units be “net zero energy ready”. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell questioned who would be responsible for the costs. Councilor Hardesty suggested the City help subsidize RVCDC if they are unable to obtain their grant funding. Mr. Appicello clarified Condition #26 is listed on page 7 of 10 of the November 6, 2007 Council Communication and suggested this amendment be repeated in the affordable housing condition in the development agreement. Councilor Jackson noted the ordinance still needs to come back for first and second readings and suggested RVCDC could propose better language if they wish. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Jackson, Chapman, Silbiger and Hardesty, YES. Councilors Navickas and Hartzell, NO. Motion
Councilor Hartzell explained her vote was based on the letter received from RVCDC requesting the City not hold them to additional standards.
Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve the application, incorporating the conditions of approval included in the August 28, 2007 Planning Commission recommendation document into the Council Findings, Orders, and Conclusions with the following modifications: 1) delete Condition #37, 2) add suggested modification to Condition #43 regarding the Sander Way sidewalks, 3) add suggested Condition #44 regarding the definition of zero net energy performance, and 4) modify the second
bullet point on Mr. Wanderscheid’s memo of November 14, 2007. DISCUSSION: Councilor Navickas shared his concerns regarding the application of the annexation and street standards criteria. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Jackson, Hartzell, Chapman, Hardesty and Silbiger, YES. Councilor Navickas, NO.
Motion passed 5-1.
Mr. Appicello indicated staff would bring back an ordinance for first reading at the next Council Meeting.
2. Does the Council wish to adopt an ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code 2.04 Rules of the City Council?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Should the City Council accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as recommended by the
Item delayed due to time constraints.
2. What are the next steps and the proposed timing for the City to connect to the Talent
Item delayed due to time constraints.
3. Does the Council wish to adopt the Public Art Master Plan?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Should the Council finalize the last step of including within the Ashland City Limits approximately 8.4-acres of industrial and employment zoned land, by approving second reading of an ordinance formally annexing the property and withdrawing the property from Jackson County Fire District No. 5?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
2. Does the Council wish to adopt the Gentle Person Agreement by resolution?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
3. Will the Council approve the attached resolution to establish a public hearing date of January 15, 2008, to consider the formation of Assessment District No. 88 to improve both Liberty Street and the alley between Harrison and Morton Street?
Item delayed due to time constraints.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor