City Council (View All)
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 19, 2016
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Marsh were present. Councilor Rosenthal arrived at 7:50 p.m.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Tree, Wildfire Mitigation, and Conservation Commissions.
He explained there would be no further public comment on the ordinance regarding sidewalk obstruction. For second reading on intrusive solicitation, they would take public comment only on the changes made during first reading.
Mayor Stromberg submitted a proclamation for Earth Day 2016 into the record that was read aloud.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to move Agenda Item XIII 1. Resolution urging the Oregon Legislature to refer to voters a measure creating a publicly funded health care system in Oregon to the May 3, 2016 Council meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of April 4, 2016, and Executive Session of April 4, 2016 were approved as presented. The minutes of the Business Meeting of April 5, 2016 were approved with the following change to page 8, second sentence under the Discussion regarding the motion to repeal Chapter 2.27 and amend 2.12. The sentence should read, “Councilor Seffinger understood it takes the equivalent of one full time employee to serve on current commissions and did not support using additional staff time for this purpose.”
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Assistant Planner Mark Schexnayder and Historic Commission member Andrew Ladygo provided the annual presentation on the Historic Commission. Commissioner Ladygo explained the Historic Commission reviewed planning actions, building permits, sign permits for structures within the historic district. The Commission worked with developers and property owners to ensure construction and renovation complemented the historic integrity of the district. Over the past year, the Commission reviewed and made recommendations on 23 land use applications, 130 building and sign permits, and made comments on downtown beautification projects, the Gateway art project, and the Theatre Corridor art project. He went on to describe tours that occurred during the 2015 Historic Week event. The Commission recently began looking at updates for the City’s Historic Design Standards. The historic marker project was progressing. He announced Historic Preservation Week would occur May 17, 2016 through May 20, 2016 and shared events that would happen throughout the week. The Commission was currently discussing having a presentation when the statue “Iron Mike” returned to the Plaza.
Sara Darby/572 Clover Lane/Explained she was homeless and thanked the City for the shelter nights at Pioneer Hall. She thanked the other shelters, the Ashland Community Resource Center, and all the volunteers for their advocacy for the homeless and submitted a letter of thanks into the record signed by 22 people who were also homeless.
Chelsea Davis/595 Elkader Street #115/Explained a pit bull downtown killed her dog and bit her earlier that month. She hoped there were ways to make it safer for situations where dogs may be aggressive. She went on to describe the event.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane/Shared his concerns regarding development churches, potential uranium in the rail road district, the threat of noxious weeds and the use of Astro Turf.
Jim Wells/321 Clay Street/Previously argued the resolution for the “homeless problem” was through a paradigm shift similar to what birthed the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) project. He went on to explain how the AFR project began.
Tawasi/Homeless/Read from the state and federal code of ethics.
Nancy Nelson/149 Clear Creek Drive/Spoke on the public health hazard of cigarette butts in regards to fires. She shared a personal story that raised concern about fires caused by cigarettes.
1. Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2. Appointment of Cindy Bernard to the Climate and Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee
3. Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Ashland and Jackson County for the rental of jail beds
4. Approval of a pay adjustment for non-represented employees
Councilor Marsh and Voisin pulled Consent Agenda item #3 for discussion. Councilor Marsh requested a Study Session to discuss the parameters of renting jail beds. Police Chief Tighe O’Meara clarified a crime was either a felony or misdemeanor. Felony convictions could result in incarceration in state prison for more than one year. Misdemeanors were non-felony offenses that could lead to incarceration in a county jail up to one year. Violations were non-criminal sanctions and no one was taken into custody for violations alone. Oregon law allowed a judge to issue a contempt of court warrant when an individual ignored multiple violations.
Councilor Seffinger/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public hearing on the 2016 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award and CDBG Action Plan development
Housing Specialist Linda Reid and Housing & Human Services Commission member Rich Rhode presented the report. This year the City had $228,691 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Of those funds, 15% was available for public services projects. The following agencies submitted applications:
- $25,000 for the St. Vincent De Paul Home Visitation Program
- $10,000 for Maslow Project for school based Services
- $12,664 to Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland for a .5 FTE Lead Resource Navigator
- $70,000 for Ashland Supportive Housing energy efficiency renovations for a group home
Councilor Rosenthal arrived at 7:50 p.m.
Staff reviewed the applications and recommended awarding 2016-2017 CDBG funds as follows:
- $70,000 to Ashland Supportive Housing for residential home rehabilitation
- $16,665 to the St Vincent De Paul Home Visitation Program
- $7,143 to Maslow Project for school based services
Staff did not recommend funding Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA) because that agency had the least amount of grant administration experience. The City tended to make recommendations that favored larger awards to fewer applicants to maximize efficiency and grant administration for both applicants and staff.
Commissioner Rhode spoke on behalf of the Housing & Human Services Commission, explained the HHSC had different recommendations than staff and why. HHSC award recommendations:
- $12,508 to the St Vincent De Paul Home Visitation
- $5,000 to Maslow Project for school based services
- $6,300 to Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland to support the lead resource navigator position
- $70,000 to Ashland Supportive Housing for residential home rehabilitation
Public Hearing Open: 7:54 p.m.
Lacy Renae/330 Glen Street/Maslow Project/Explained she was the program manager and mental health counselor for Maslow Project. She represented Cheyenne Peters, the Ashland based case manager and explained Maslow Project was the only organization in Ashland providing services to homeless youth and described how the program worked. Currently Ashland had 12 unaccompanied youth, 7 seniors with 5 going to college, and 2 considering Rogue Valley Community College. She read a letter from the former dean of Ashland High School on the dramatic changes Maslow Project program had facilitated.
Mary Ferrell/4509 Pinnacle Drive, Medford/Maslow Project/Explained she was the executive director and founder of Maslow Project. According to the National Center of Youth Homelessness, only 25% of homeless students graduated from high school. Oregon state high schools had a 12% graduation rate for homeless students. Maslow Project averaged a 51% graduation rate, graduated 100% of the areas homeless youth last year, and was on track to graduate 100% of the identified homeless seniors this year.
Regina Ayars/199 Hillcrest/Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA)/Was a board member of OHRA. She explained OHRA worked closely with St Vincent De Paul and Maslow Project on the grant OHRA submitted. The $12,664 would pay a portion of the salary of the Ashland Community Resource Center’s lead resource navigator. This position managed housing and jobs for those in need in Ashland. The total budget for the project was $53,429 with three primary goals to secure housing for 21 families currently homeless, prevent 32 presently housed families from losing their homes, and secure employment for 21 unemployed individuals. Duties of the position included case management, volunteer coordinator, and job match coordinator.
Charlotte Dorsey/988 Hillview Drive/St Vincent De Paul/Thanked Council for prior CDBG funds and explained the money went to housing homeless people and preventing housed people from becoming homeless. In the past six years, St Vincent De Paul assisted 300 people using only CDBG money.
Sue Crader/2957 Barbara Street/Ashland Supportive Housing/Explained she was the executive director of Ashland Supportive Housing and Community Outreach (ASH). ASH had operated in Ashland since 1982 and provided residential homes and support services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were requesting funds for a residential home to install a solar energy system, a solar water system, replace attic insulation and cover associated costs. The project bid at $77,125 and they were asking for $70,000 of that cost. A solar system would offset the 40% increase in utility costs ASH had experienced agency wide.
Public Hearing Closed: 8:13 p.m.
Councilor Voisin motioned to direct staff to draft the 2016 Annual Action Plan for the use of Community Development Block Grant funds reflecting the award of CDBG funding for the 2016 Program year as follows: $12,508 to St Vincent De Paul-Home Visitation Program, $5,000 to Maslow Project, $6,300 to Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland, and $70,000 to Ashland Supportive Housing. Motion died for lack of a second.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to direct staff to draft the 2016 Annual Action Plan for the use of Community Development Block Grant funds reflecting the award of CDBG funding for the 2016 Program year as follows: $70,000 to Ashland Supportive Housing for residential home rehabilitation,
$16,665 to St Vincent De Paul Home Visitation Program, and $7,143 to Maslow Project.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh could not support HHSC’s recommendation. The amount of money was too small to spread it across four organizations. She was looking at the maximum impact. Councilor Lemhouse agreed. The organizations awarded had proven themselves over time. OHRA was going through a strategic planning process and he was interested in the outcome. The agencies receiving funds covered three distinctly different points. Councilor Rosenthal added reducing the amounts for St Vincent De Paul and Maslow Project was counterproductive because funding for these organizations also supported OHRA. St Vincent De Paul invested more external funds into Ashland than the City. Maslow Project had a record rate for graduating homeless high school seniors. He would support the motion.
Councilor Seffinger wanted Maslow Project to get their full funding. Councilor Morris appreciated St Vincent De Paul and the services they provided and supported the staff’s recommendation. Councilor Voisin was disappointed and explained OHRA was Ashland’s own non-profit based in town. Each agency also received social services grants from the City and shifting funds to OHRA was not cutting deeply into the amount of money they would receive. Mayor Stromberg noted OHRA and the Ashland Community Resource Center were new ventures and were demonstrating their ability to fulfill a need in the community. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Morris, YES. Motion passed.
2. Public hearing and first reading by title only of two ordinances titled, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Ashland Municipal Airport – Airport Layout Plan Update 2004-2025, as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan,”
“An ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code 18.3.7.030 Airport Overlay Regulations, Chapter 18.4.3.040 Parking Ratios, Chapter 18.5.1, Table 18.5.1.010, Summary of Approvals by Type of Review Procedure, Chapter 18.5.7.020.C, Exempt from Tree Removal Permit and Chapter 18.6.1.030, Definitions,” and move both on to second reading.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Planning Department and Public Works Department had worked on code changes that effected the airport area and the overlay. He provided a presentation on proposed Airport Code Changes that included:
- Aerial photos of the airport
- Changes intended to streamline the development review process:
- Exempt conventional hangar development from Site Design Review for predetermined hangar locations
- Hangar construction subject to a building and zoning permit only
- Change building height standard to be consistent with Airport Master Plan methodology (Federal Air Regulations – 77)
- Exempt tree trimming or removal mandated for safety reasons by the F.A.A. from Tree Removal Permit process
- Housecleaning changes and updates to Comprehensive Plan text:
- Add a parking ratio for aircraft hangars – one space per hangar or one space per four aircraft occupying a hangar
- Amend Definitions section to include Aircraft Hangar
- Adopt the most recent Airport Master Plan as a supporting document to the Ashland Comprehensive Plan
- Ashland Municipal Airport – airport Layout Plan 2004-2025
- Airport Layout Plan
- Hangar Photos
- Height Limits
- The current 20-foot height limitation has meant that the last several hangars proposed have required Type II Variances because the heights proposed exceeded 20-feet.
- The changes proposed would allow heights consistent with the underlying zone and federal regulations.
- Tree Removal Permit Exemption
- Tree trimming or removal at the airport would be given similar exemptions from permitting as those granted for parks and utilities when mandated by the F.A.A. for safety reasons.
- Public Works would report to the Tree commission annually on tree trimming activities.
- FEMA Flood Plain & Wetlands – Map
- Historical Evidence of Flooding - photo
Councilor Voisin was concerned the Tree Commission did not vote to approve the Tree Removal Permit exemption. Mr. Molnar did not recall a formal motion at the Tree Commission meeting. Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) Title 18 did not require a recommendation from the Tree Commission. It required legislative actions, a public hearing, and recommendation by the Planning Commission. However, asking for a formal vote from the Tree Commission would not jeopardize any timeline regarding the airport ordinance modifications.
Mr. Molnar explained the northeast portion of the airport property currently did not have a plan for use. Passing the ordinance would not preclude any decision Council made regarding the property. The Public Works Department was close to securing a grant to update the Airport Master Plan. The area had potential for employment generating uses, possibly aeronautical, and required a developer to go through the Land Use process. Staff deliberately left that area out of the ordinance due to that potential.
Public Hearing Open: 8:36 p.m.
Brent Thompson/582 Allison Street/Thought the Tree Commission would have said something if there was a problem with the Tree Removal Permit exemption and subsequently gave tacit approval. He did not support delaying the process to obtain a formal vote from the Tree Commission since it was not required in the code.
Public Hearing Closed: 8:38 p.m.
Councilor Morris/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading of ordinance by title only, “An ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Ashland Municipal Airport – Airport Layout Plan Update 2004-2025, as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan,” and move it to second reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris explained the airport was different from most other planning actions. It was a master plan zone controlled by the F.A.A. and the City. He thought they had control of tree heights outside the airport and could trim trees in other areas and neighborhoods. It was a good update, supported by the Planning Commission, and should move forward. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Morris and Mr. Thompson’s testimony regarding the Tree Commission. He did not think it required a formal vote from the Commission. If there was an objection, the Tree Commission could make it known during second reading.
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the motion and asked staff to bring the exemption for tree removal, Section 5, page 5, to the Tree Commission at their next meeting as an action item. Motion died for lack of a second.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to approve first reading by title only of the ordinance titled “An ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code 18.3.7.030 Airport Overlay Regulations, Chapter 18.4.3.040 Parking Ratios, Chapter 18.5.1, Table 18.5.1.010, Summary of Approvals by Type of Review Procedure, Chapter 18.5.7.020.C, Exempt from Tree Removal Permit and Chapter 18.6.1.030, Definitions,” and move it on to second reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh read minutes from the January 2016 Tree Commission meeting that stated Mr. Molnar explained the existing regulations for tree removal near the airport, what the proposed ordinance change involved, and the Tree Commission’s support of the update. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
1. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 10.64 Obstructing Sidewalks and Passageways” and move to second reading
City Attorney Dave Lohman reiterated this was not an ordinance about camping and was not a blanket prohibition on blocking pedestrian passageways. It did apply to anyone obstructing pedestrian passageways unless they had a permit from the City. If passed, the ordinance would describe a violation and not a crime. He noted a correction that Section 10.64.020(D) on the Council Communication should read Section 10.64.020(E).
The ordinance made the current prohibition on blocking pedestrian passageways with objects also apply to people and banned blocking pedestrian passageways to public or private property adjacent to public sidewalks. It retained the existing exemption for permitted activities and added exemptions for deliveries, medical emergencies, physical or mental incapacitation, public safety, maintenance or construction functions, and waiting in line. The proposed ordinance was constitutional and permissible under Oregon statutes for disorderly conduct. He submitted three alternative definitions of pedestrian passageways into the record and explained each one.
Mr. Lohman also distributed a sidewalk usage map, and submitted the document into the record. He described the map and discussed how the alternatives applied with Council. Buskers could perform in the green areas indicated on the map. Alternative 3 or a variation of Alternative 3 would allow more green space for street performers. The five-minute rule for obstructing a passageway was arbitrary. Enforcement was based on the totality of circumstances and officer discretion. If an individual blocking the passageway moved to another area and commenced to obstruct that sidewalk, they had already received a warning and could receive a citation. Ignoring a warning was a clear indication of intent.
Councilor Marsh/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading of an ordinance titled “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 10.64 Obstructing Sidewalks and Passageways” with the following changes, replace Section 10.64.020 (C) with “As used in this Chapter 10.64 a pedestrian passageway is 1. The Entryway to public or private property from an abutting public sidewalk, 2. The area within 6 feet of the outer edge of any roadway or City owned or controlled fixtures and structures, and 3. That portion of any public walkway that is 6 foot in width,” and move to second reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Marsh explained the code already restricted dogs and possessions from blocking sidewalks and this added bodies. This will accommodate all different kinds of users. The goal was not to arrest people but make the rules clear and set a standard for civic involvement by all different kinds of people on the streets. Councilor Lemhouse added the intent was clear for everyone.
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s to amend the motion and amend Section B. under 10.64.020 to read, “Except as otherwise permitted by ordinance or by a conditional use permit or by a special use permit, no person shall physically preclude other persons’ use of a pedestrian passageway by exclusively occupying or placing an object or animal thereon for longer than 5 minutes with the intent to interfere with free passage thereon except in the case of a person or persons with an obvious or stated disability in which case passage must be immediately allowed.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained people in wheelchairs, walkers, or using canes that signified an impairment or when they did not have the option to go around should require others to move immediately. Councilor Seffinger added she had witnessed a person in a wheelchair having to go into the street due to sidewalk obstruction and supported the amendment. Councilor Morris thought intersections should have 10-feet of open space instead of 6-feet. Mr. Lohman would bring back language regarding the 10-feet of open space for people in wheelchairs for second reading. Councilor Lemhouse was open to staff rewording his amendment.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Morris, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Continued discussion on amended main motion: Councilor Rosenthal would not support the motion. The ordinance was not easy to explain. Councilor Morris would support it but had similar concerns that Councilor Rosenthal expressed. Councilor Voisin did not want the police being parents with a stopwatch and measuring device when all it would take was asking a young person to move. She would not support the ordinance. Councilor Seffinger had experiences where passageways were blocked and asking politely did not work. Councilor Voisin explained her experience was the opposite and shared encounters she had during her three years on the Plaza watch. Roll Call Vote on main motion: Councilor Marsh, Morris, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES; Councilor Voisin and Rosenthal, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. 2016 annual appointments to boards, commissions, and committees
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained the Mayor reappointed members that had requested reappointment and there were no new appointments. Ms. Christensen advertised several times in the newspaper, the city website, and Council meeting announcements. Mayor Stromberg added he had 6-7 people he needed to interview for some of the vacancies.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve annual appointments to various city commissions as recommended by Mayor Stromberg. DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal would support the motion and thought the process needed an enhanced strategy to obtain more applicants for City commissions. Councilor Seffinger thought it was better to have vacancies than filling them with unqualified people.
Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
Mayor Stromberg moved Agenda Item #2 regarding the smoking ban to Agenda Item #3.
1. Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance adding Chapter 10.130 Intrusive Solicitation to Title 10 Peace, Morals, and Safety of the Ashland Municipal Code”
Councilor Seffinger/Morris m/s to approve Ordinance #3123. DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger thought the ordinance would make the downtown area more inviting for visitors and community members. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, and Rosenthal, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
2. Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance repealing AMC Chapter 2.27 in its entirety and amending Chapter 2.12 to designate the Planning Commission as the committee for citizen involvement”
Councilor Morris/Seffinger m/s to approve Ordinance #3124. DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris thought it was time to update the code and repeal AMC 2.27. He would have preferred having nine people back on the Planning Commission. Councilor Seffinger added the Planning Commission involved citizen involvement and supported the motion. Roll Call Voter: Councilor Seffinger, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Morris, Voisin, and Marsh, YES. Motion passed.
3. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance creating AMC Chapter 9.30 to prohibit smoking in places of employment, in enclosed areas open to the public, and in downtown Ashland” and move to second reading
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained staff sent a letter to 160 downtown businesses inviting them to participate in an online survey or answer four questions regarding a smoking ban via email. They received 33 responses with 61% in support of a ban. Of the responses received, 32% thought it was bad for business, 21% thought it would have little or no impact and 46% thought it would be good for business.
Applying the ban only to public sidewalks, the Plaza and Chautauqua Square did not include alleyways and Council may want to include them in the ordinance. If not, alleyways still had to comply with the other provisions in the ordinance. Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed businesses could obtain an exemption from the ordinance. If Council did not include alleyways in the ordinance, they should remove the OLCC exemption from the ordinance. People could smoke anywhere on unenclosed private property. There was a lot of private space downtown that directly abutted public sidewalks that prohibited smoking. Council could add an amendment that prohibited smoking on sidewalks or on public or private property within 10-feet of a sidewalk. The theatre was actually a city tax lot and did not include Hargadine parking lot as previously stated.
If Council decided not to approve the ordinance, Mr. Kanner suggested they pass an ordinance that prohibited smoking on the sidewalk abutting City Hall. He explained issues citizens encountered frequently outside City Hall and the complaints they made to Utility Billing staff that were sometimes abusive.
Nancy Nelson/149 Clear Creek #202/Second hand smoke was just as dangerous as first hand smoke and one of the highest carcinogens. She shared her personal experience with secondhand smoke. If the City had issues with ordinance language, they should look at cities with smoking bans and use their wording.
Elinor Berman/54 Normal Avenue/Recently asked people to stop smoking in two parks and reminded them that the park was for everyone. That was how she felt about the downtown. She should be able to walk down the sidewalk and not have to encounter smoke. People chose to smoke. She chose not to breathe other’s smoke. She appreciated Council for considering a smoking ban.
Julie Chertow/1467 Siskiyou Blvd/Owned a business called Essential Wellness that helped people with lung and respiratory issues using essential oils. The store next door closed and a smoke shop opened in its place. Additionally, the owner of Pangea sat at a bench by her shop and chain-smoked and the smoke came into her shop every time a customer opened the door. Another issue was smokers littering the ground with cigarette butts. She supported the ban. Smokers could choose to smoke in their home but not in public.
Mr. Kanner clarified the ordinance referenced and adopted the downtown map used to create the enhanced law enforcement area. That map did not include the sidewalk across Ashland Creek between Granite Street and the Plaza or the sidewalk in front of Lithia Park. Including those areas would require amendments.
Councilor Seffinger explained outdoor smoke could reach levels of exposure attained indoors and occur within 15-feet of a burning cigarette. Secondhand smoke contained more than 7,000 chemicals including 70 known and probable carcinogens, inhalants, and toxins. Cigarette butts could cause the death of animals, and get into the water supply through streams.
Council comments identified that it was important to minimize the impact of second hand smoke on people downtown and create an ordinance easily understood. A suggestion designated Main Street as a no smoking zone, included the Plazas for a one-year trial with potential to extend it further if successful. Another suggestion would prohibit smoking on private property within 10-feet of a public street. Other comments wanted Southern Oregon University included in the ban. There was concern the ordinance may be challenging to explain or enforce. Other concerns regarded accommodating smokers, tobacco addiction, smoking at intersections and potential problems on side streets if only Main Street adopted the ban.
Mr. Kanner explained retaining prohibiting smoking 10-feet from a door or window that opened depended on how they wrote the ordinance. The proposed ordinance adopted the indoor clean air act throughout the city and went farther to prohibit smoking on downtown sidewalks, the Plaza, or Chautauqua Square.
Councilor Morris/Seffinger m/s to approve first reading by title only of “An ordinance creating AMC Chapter 9.30 to prohibit smoking in places of employment, in enclosed areas open to the public, and in downtown Ashland” and move to second reading and incorporate the three additions as well as the two sidewalks indicated by the City Administrator. DISCUSSION: Councilor Morris understood wanting to start with a small section but was concerned it would push everything to the side streets. This part of downtown was a good place to start and with all the ordinances will most likely be adjusted over time. Councilor Seffinger noted the science was there and thought they owed it to the citizens and children. Not only was there a problem with secondhand smoke, there were issues with third hand smoke. Councilor Rosenthal supported the broadest possible prohibition on smoking and supported the motion. Councilor Lemhouse preferred an incremental process but supported prohibiting smoking downtown for all the reasons stated.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to amend the motion that within one year of the passage of the ordinance that staff return with a report on the effectiveness of the ordinance and include a survey of downtown stakeholders, businesses, and citizens. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained staff would replicate the first survey to capture the same pool and give Council the opportunity at that time to make any adjustments. Councilor Marsh supported the amendment. It was important for Council to have a strong vote of support for whatever ordinance they moved forward. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Rosenthal, and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse motioned if the ordinance passed second reading, staff would come back with a plan for public education and signage for the public and visitors. It was clarified a motion was not needed for this request and staff was already discussing signage and education.
Continued discussion on amended main motion: Mayor Stromberg commented all the reasons for doing the ban were legitimate but using the power of regulation and ordinance to try to get things to happen in the community should be a last resort. He did not feel they had tried to do an education campaign. People were sensitive to government influencing the public and thought Council should consider tempering their approach. Roll Call Vote on main motion as amended: Councilor Lemhouse, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Rosenthal, and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
4. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution of the City Council establishing a fee for appeals of administrative decisions”
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained the resolution addressed a problem in the municipal code that hindered a citizen’s right to petition the government for the redress of grievances. Charging an appellant a $150 non-refundable fee for appeals of administrative decisions was unreasonable. The resolution would change the appeal fee. He displayed a flow chart that explained what was in the resolution. Time ran out on the meeting and the item was delayed to the May 3, 2016 Council meeting.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Resolution urging the Oregon Legislature to refer to voters a measure creating a publicly funded health care system in Oregon
Item delayed until to May 3, 2016 Council meeting.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor