Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, April 06, 2009

MINUTES FOR CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, April 6, 2009
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m.

Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Voisin, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.

1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead.

2. Discussion regarding placing some or all of the City's Tier 2 Electric load on Northwest Requirements Utilities, LLC.
Director of Electric Utilities Dick Wanderscheid reviewed the staff recommendation that the City purchase Tier 2 power from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) instead of Northwest Requirement Utilities (NRU) through the Northwest Intergovernmental Energy Supply (NIES). If the City chose to move some or the entire Tier 2 Electric load to NRU, the maximum savings at 2028 would be approximately $160,000 with the possibility of no savings at all. The savings compared to the operating costs and fees the City would incur in managing two separate contracts for twenty years does not justify the effort. Currently it made sense to stay with BPA. The 2-3 year rate period would provide the City the opportunity to switch to NRU in the future.

Mr. Wanderscheid further explained the City is committed to purchasing 21.59 average megawatts (MW) from BPA. If that amount is not used, BPA will remarket it into the Tier 1 Pool. Ashland would not receive credit but if everyone in the Tier 1 Pool used less power than allocated, BPA would resell and credit it back to the Tier 1 Pool reducing the price. He commented the City has never paid for power it did not use and added that load and population growth almost correlated and that electric consumption per capita has stayed flat for the last 25 years.

3. Discussion of two separate Ordinances, one amending the Sign Code Chapter 18.96, and one amending the Site Design Review Chapter 18.72.030 of the Ashland Land Use Code.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained what the Downtown Task Force was chartered to accomplish and that amending the two ordinances was the next phase in the process.

Senior Planner Brandon Goldman provided a presentation that included:

  • Downtown Task Force Recommendations
    1. Additional Exempt includes incidental signs, open signs with 3 square foot (sq.ft.) allowance
    2. Small three-dimensional (3D) signs Downtown with 3 cubic foot (cu.ft.) allowance
    3. Larger 3D signs outside of the Downtown with 20 cubic ft allowance
    4. Exemption for Public Art
    5. Allow for portable Sandwich boards and Pedestal Signs
    6. Allow for City installed identification signs
    7. Allow additional signs for Multi-Sided Buildings (City Council Directed)
    8. Increase Projection Distance for Signs
  • Key Sign Code Changes
  • Area Definition
  • New Area Definition
  • Equal Areas
  • Public Art Definition

Mr. Goldman clarified that art on private property not commissioned by the City and installed as part of the Public Arts program, was considered a sign. City Administrator Martha Bennett added the sign code could regulate time, place and manner but not content. The procedure required donating the object to the City, establishing an easement and following the Public Art Commission process. The donation could be temporary or the property owner could donate space for the City to provide its own art.

  • Construction and Real Estate Signs

City Attorney Richard Appicello noted staff would strike the language on page 2 of the ordinance, Section 18.96.020(10) Construction sign, following the word "construction."

  • Multi Sided Buildings Proposed amendments would allow:
    1. Maximum allowable signage Downtown: Existing Signage in conformance with code (40' frontage)
    2. Exempt Incidental Signs: New 3sq.ft. 'Incidental' Sign, 7sq.ft. total (no permit required)
    3. Exempt Incidental Sign as Portable sign: New 3sq.ft Portable Sign (permit required)
    4. Exempt Incidental Sign as small 3-D sign: New 3cu.ft. 3-D Sign
    5. Portable Sign Location: Must be on private property, no interference with ingress and egress
  • Three Dimension Sign Provisions
  • Three Dimensional Sign Provisions for Downtown Commercial and Historic Districts
  • Three Dimensional Sign Volumes for Commercial Districts
  • Portable Sign Provisions
  • Portable Sign Provisions
  • Review History
  • Next Step: City Council Public Hearing - First Reading 4-7-2009

The Council discussed with staff the duration of the Sign Code review, permits, and enforcement and temporary signs. Ms. Bennett explained past enforcement started with a letter asking for voluntary compliance prior to citation and added the City had not issued any citations to date.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder

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