Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Special Meeting

Minutes
Monday, February 04, 2008

MINUTES FOR THE CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING
Monday, February 4, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
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ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson, Navickas and Hartzell were present.
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NEW BUSINESS
1. Should the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance that implement many of the changes described in Phase 1 of the Siegel report and proposes changes to the City's permitting and appeal procedures be approved?
Community Development Director Bill Molnar and Senior Planning Maria Harris addressed the Council. Mr. Molnar stated the Public Hearing for this ordinance was held on December 18, 2008 and suggested the Council focus on the following key questions:

1) Does the Council want to adopt a process that requires appeals to the City Council from the Planning Commission to be held "on the record"?
2) Does the Council want to adopt the provisions that would make the Planning Commission's decision on Type I applications final, with the next appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals?
3) Does the Council want to adopt the provisions that allow a building with a 100-foot length that is less than 10,000 square feet to become a Type I decision (with appeal to the Commission)?
4) Does the Council want to permit there to be an Evidentiary Hearing by staff for Type II decisions? If so, does the Council wish to define specific criteria for these hearings?
5) Does the Council wish to adopt the provisions that allow for an application for an interpretation of the Land Use Code?

Mayor Morrison suggested Council begin with Question #1 and work their way down.

Comment was made questioning if the City Attorney should be the one who makes the determination to allow for a partial de-novo hearing. City Attorney Richard Appicello clarified his role is to provide legal advice to the decision maker. City Administrator Martha Bennett added if the City Attorney were the decision maker, it would tie his hands and he would not be able to provide advice.

Councilor Navickas voiced his opposition to "on the record" hearings. He noted the need to protect citizens' rights and voiced support for having two de novo hearings. Councilor Hartzell also voiced her opposition to the proposed language and stated that citizens should be allowed to share their opinions on an appeal that is before the Council.

Councilor Jackson noted the additional noticing requirements and stated the proposed process would bring in more citizen action at the appropriate time, which is when the application is before the Planning Commission. Councilor Silbiger also voiced his support for "on the record" appeals and stated it does not make sense to hold two de novo hearings. He stated if new information presents itself then the case should be remanded back to the Planning Commission and agreed that the Council should only be reviewing the decision itself.

Mr. Molnar explained the motivating factor with this provision was the consideration of Council's time and efficiency. Mr. Appicello commented that this is a fundamental shift from the current process. He stated the Council would become the reviewing authority and not a de novo authority. He added the "raise it, or waive it" rule would apply and citizens would have to raise their issues before the Planning Commission.

Councilor Chapman voiced his support of "on the record" hearings. Councilor Navickas urged the Council to consider the citizen's perspective and stated the proposed process would remove their opportunity to speak before the Council.

Mr. Appicello clarified that there are certain types of land use decisions that would still come before the Council.

Mayor Morrison commented on their responsibility to make sure the government acts efficiently and the need to have a fair process.

Suggestion was made for the Council to move onto the remaining questions, since they do not appear to have consensus on this item.

Ms. Bennett noted staff's recommendation is to not move forward with Question 5.

Councilor Navickas/Hartzell m/s to not allow for an application for an interpretation of the Land Use Code. DISCUSSION: Ms. Bennett provided a brief explanation and clarified staff would remove the language pertaining to this. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Navickas, Hartzell, Chapman, Hardesty and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Councilor Navickas/Hardesty m/s to approve Question #2, to adopt the provisions that would make the Planning Commission's decision on "Type I" applications final, with the next appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals. DISCUSSION: Councilor Hartzell requested a comprehensive list of what is being proposed to be included as Type I. Mr. Molnar clarified this is listed on pages 65-67 of the ordinance, and Type II's are listed on page 70. Councilor Hartzell questioned the inclusion of an electric substation as a Type I. Councilor Hardesty suggested amending the motion to remove electric substations as a Type I conditional use. Councilor Navickas voiced his support for this amendment. Council directed staff to make electric substations a Type II. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Hartzell, Hardesty, Silbiger and Jackson, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Councilor Navickas/Hardesty m/s to not allow a building with 100 foot length to be a Type I decision and move those up to Type II decisions. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Hartzell, Navickas, Hardesty, Hartzell and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed 6-0.

Staff clarified this item is listed on tomorrow night's agenda and Council could continue their deliberations at that time.

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ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

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


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