City Council (View All)
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 21, 2016
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Conservation, Tree, Wildfire Mitigation, and Historic Commissions.
He went on to request a moment of silence for the Orlando Florida shooting victims, the survivors, and the community.
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to move Agenda Item #2 under Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts a resolution to improve comprehensive healthcare system to the July 19, 2016 Council meeting. Voice Vote: ALL AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg moved Agenda Item #1 under Ordinances, Resolutions, and Contracts to approve second reading to levy taxes after Special Presentations and Awards. He then moved Agenda Item #2 under New and Miscellaneous Business regarding the Gateway Island art project after the Consent Agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Goal Setting Session of June 6, 2016 were approved with the following changes to page one, Councilor Rosenthal item #2, deleting community wide to read, 2. Public health and safety – additional reporting structures to determine effectiveness of recent ordinances, establish an enhanced law enforcement area (ELEA) for the south end of town. On item #3, delete street maintenance, etc. to read, 3. Social service improvements. The minutes of the Business Meeting of June 7, 2016 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Mayor’s proclamation of June 21 - 28, 2016 as Homeownership Week was read aloud.
Presentation from Jackson County Vector Control regarding mosquito control
Jim Lunders, manager and biologist of the Jackson County Vector Control District gave a presentation on integrated mosquito management (IMM) that utilized available mosquito control methods. He explained the pros and cons of the IMM elements that included public education, source reduction, biological control, surveillance, larval control, and adult control. There were few alternatives to using DeltaGard to control adult mosquitoes. Products used by Vector Control were required to be labeled for all crops. DeltaGard and Zenivex were on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) reduced risk pesticide list with all crop labels.
The lifespan of mosquitoes depended on the temperature and species. Summer lifespan was 4-6 weeks. Overwintered females will live four to five months. People should rinse out fountains and birdbaths every five days. Mosquito fish work well in aquaria ponds.
Cara Cruickshank/1193 Ashland Mine Road/Explained her credentials and background. They met with Vector Control the week before. The Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV) was concerned with the use of DeltaGard to control mosquitoes. It was toxic to pollinators and aquatic environments. Pollinators were already stressed due to habitat loss and exposure to pesticides. The PPRV supported the use of bacillus thuringiensis (BT) or bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) for larval control instead. They wanted Vector Control to increase community education outreach on how to reduce habitat. Less than 1% of sprayed pesticides reached the intended target. PPRV was asking Council for a Study Session to explore safer mitigation of mosquitoes.
Dr. Ray Seidler/160 Pompadour Drive/Shared his background as a retired professor of microbiology and a former research scientist with the EPA and commented on Vector Control activities in the community. The EPA had not yet tested Anvil, DeltaGard, and Methoprene for endocrine disruptors. However, university scientists stated they were. He listed health effects from exposure to endocrine disruptors on humans and added they were highly lethal to pollinators. Spraying these chemicals when they were lethal to pollinators was not consistent with the goals of being a Bee City USA. Many American cities use biologicals that were safe and more specific. He supported a Study Session to discuss the issue further.
1. Approval of second reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance levying taxes for the period of July 1, 2016 to and including June 30, 2017, such taxes in the sum of $11,088,369 upon all the real and personal property subject to assessment and levy within the corporate limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon.”
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to approve Ordinance #3129. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Morris, Voisin, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES. Motion passed.
Caroline Shaffer/288 Morton Street/Provided an update on her home that was flooded with sewage late 2015. Her family recently moved back. They were hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Additionally, boxes they thought rescued were full of a blue florescent mold. She reminded Council they were still here and partially resolved.
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Hwy 99/Explained he was college educated, did well for many years, and now was obsolete. He was hoping someone would hire him and had not happened.
Mike Marshak/2283 McCall/It was time to start thinking of what to do for the street family for the winter regarding housing, shelter, and support on an ongoing basis. He questioned what the support from the City would be for the Ashland Community Resource Center now that it had to move or close. Another concern was logging trucks driving through town. He thought Ashland should require smaller delivery trucks. It would cost more but was worth the safety of the community.
1. Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2. Intergovernmental agreements between Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon and the Ashland Police and Fire Departments
3. Sole source procurement with Project A for website services
4. Agreement for services with Southern Oregon University for public access television services
5. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Ashland Police Association
6. Contract for legal services for Douglas M. McGeary
7. Award of contract to apparent low bidder for the 2016 slurry seal project
8. Approval of a public contract exceeding $100,000 for worker’s compensation third party administration services
9. Appointment of Taylor Leonard to the Historic Commission
10. Two-year renewal of intergovernmental agreement with Jackson County Community Justice
11. Adoption of the City’s self-insured health plan for the plan year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017
Councilor Rosenthal pulled Consent Agenda items #4 and #8 for further discussion. Management Analyst Ann Seltzer addressed Consent Agenda item #3 and explained why there was a 3% annual increase when the service levels did not change. In 2008, the City reduced RVTV from $114,000 to $49,000 due to federal regulation changes regarding the use of PEG fees and franchise fees for public access television. RVTV agreed to continue providing the services the City had in 2008 as long as the City agreed to pay a 3% increase each year. This was a verbal agreement. The City Administrator would come back to Council at a future meeting to either formalize the verbal agreement or provide options.
Consent Agenda item #8 regarding the agreement for workers’ compensation third party administration services did not include a contract because it was not ready. It was the same as the existing contract and was approximately $20,000. Council would wait until the next meeting to vote on the item.
Councilor Rosenthal/Morris m/s to approve all Consent Agenda items except #4 and #8. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Final selection of Gateway Island public art
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the sculpture titled “Threshold” was the second option artist Susan Zoccola prepared at Council request. The Public Arts Commission (PAC) determined “Threshold” met the criteria for public art as written in Ashland Municipal Code 2.29 as well as the project intent stated in the Gateway request for qualifications (RFQ). PAC Chair Sandy Friend further described outreach to the community and introduced Susan Zoccola.
Ms. Zoccola enjoyed making public art for 20 years because it gave her an opportunity to come to different towns and make pieces of art that really belonged to the area and inspired the community. She showed several slides of work she had done for Portland, Oregon and cities throughout the state of Washington. Inspiration for “Gather,” the first concept for Ashland’s Gateway project was fall, nature, and water, baskets, coming together and creating connection like a gramophone horn. At 19 feet tall, she used warm copper and bronze colors and night lighting to provide art 24 hours a day.
She had never been asked to do a second proposal and it was a bit of a challenge. This time she used falling leaves, moving waters, and a gateway as inspiration for “Threshold.” People would be able to walk under the piece. It was a little bit taller, copper, warm brown with a softness like basketry. The shadows would be dramatic and night lighting would make it lovely. She had an engineer analyze the piece and make sure it was durable. The engineer would run calculations to ensure the sculpture could withstand snow and wind and retain its lightness. She participated in the fabrication process and worked with her engineers closely. The engineers were experienced, specialized in working with unusual materials, and were legally responsible for the sculptures being strong and sturdy with durable materials. Her engineers were involved in both projects and confident they could build either sculpture safely and within budget. She proposed putting a path underneath the sculpture. The sculpture would have slight movement.
Taylor Leonard/1095 Benson Way/Thought “Gather” and “Threshold” were beautiful designs but in the wrong location. People would drive past the sculpture at 20 miles per hour. It would be better to make it a destination and place it in Lithia Park for better viewing. She preferred a historical piece at the gates to the city.
Bruce Bayard/621 A Street/Explained he was an original member of the Public Arts Commission (PAC) and helped established the PAC. Both sculptures adhered to the intent, goals, and mission statement of the PAC. He was disappointed Council did not approve “Gather” but he loved “Threshold” and would enjoy walking underneath it, taking pictures, and interacting with it on a pedestrian level.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane/Noted the urban heat island and that he was talking about the gateway island. “Gather” was closed, confined, and somewhat scary. The urban heat island was a thermal mass and Ashland was the gateway to the rest of North America. “Threshold” showed the need to protect the wetlands and the habitat for endangered species. He went on to comment on the road diet.
Councilor Seffinger/Lemhouse m/s to approve “Threshold” for placement in the Gateway Island. DISCUSSION: Councilor Seffinger felt “Threshold” captured different aspects of Ashland. The community was on the threshold of creating events in the world, and the sculpture was evocative of that feeling. Councilor Lemhouse supported “Threshold” as well. He liked the gateway synergy and the possibility of having a pathway under the sculpture. Councilor Marsh predicated her support on the fundamental premise Ashland was a community that valued diversity in all of life and used Shakespeare and music as an example. The intent was not to create a collection that everyone loved but a collection that stimulated, pushed, and elicited a span of emotion. Councilor Voisin did not connect with either sculpture. Her theological mentor taught her about art and one of the most important things he taught her was art was a form that points beyond itself. When someone looks at art, they are taken beyond and that is when it became a symbol. The sculptures did not do that for her. She did not want either piece and recognized there were 400-600 respondents who did not support the art either.
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the motion that in 2020 the City Council put on the general election ballot the opportunity for citizens to vote to keep or not keep “Threshold” in this place. Motion died for lack for a second.
Councilor Morris was fascinated with “Gather.” He initially did not like sculpture but it drew him in over time. He liked “Threshold” but there was something about “Gather.” The gateway island was never a popular space. The sculpture would draw more people to that end of town. He supported the motion and really liked the art. Councilor Rosenthal thought the process adding (correction to minutes made 7-19-2016 changing extenuated to accentuated) accentuated what was great about Ashland and what was troubling about the process. The process was set up to try to remove the arbitrary in a subjective process to keep it as objective as possible and it got a little messy. He addressed the negative feedback loop commenting he had never seen a social media road rage like this one based on misinformation. This type of feedback was not healthy for the community. However, people had an opportunity to participate in the robust public process that had gone back for years and someone had to make a decision. He thanked the artist for her patience. Mayor Stromberg thought “Threshold” was a good sculpture for the gateway island area and predicted it would quickly become a point of interest, would have an economic benefit, and stimulate the community. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Morris, YES, Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
3. 2016 water supply update
Public Works Director Mike Faught introduced Water Conservation Specialist Julie Smitherman recently appointed to the governor’s task force on drought. Due to snowpack this year, the City would follow the Reeder Reservoir draw down curve. The reservoir was currently full. In the event the City needed to supplement the water supply, he recommended using Talent-Ashland-Phoenix (TAP) water first instead of Talent Irrigation District (TID) water. There was an increase of taste and odor complaints when the City supplemented the supply with TID. There was also temperature fluctuation requiring frequent adjustments by staff. He noted a correction to the cost of using TAP versus TID that initially showed $31,600 when in fact it was $16,800. He clarified the City did not budget for drought and treated it as a response to an event. They did budget for TAP and covered emergency responses using contingency funds.
Ms. Smitherman explained even though the snowpack was higher than in the last two years, everyone needed to continue using water efficiently and focus on long-term efficiency measures. The Mountain Meadows community experienced a 35% reduction in water usage with the lawn replacement program. Customers in general saw a 10%-50% reduction in their water usage. In addition to the lawn replacement program, the City offered free irrigation system evaluations, rebates for toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines, and free aerators and showerheads. Staff recently added a pollinator friendly gallery and a water calculator to the water wise website. Staff also created a water conservation page on Facebook.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to extend the public hearing to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: ALL AYES. Motion passed.
The past two years the City had a drought website. This year they created a water supply webpage instead at ashland.or.us/watersupply. The Surviving Drought Guide and Tree Care Guide were on the Conservation webpage and available in hard copy. Local movie theaters will play water conservation ads before each movie. The City has booths at Earth Day and the upcoming Salmon Festival. This year staff would begin a facilities water audit for the City. They were also looking at several landscapes in the community and considering replanting those areas.
Mr. Faught confirmed overtime costs were included in the overall TID budget. Using TAP before TID did not impact piping TID. The Master Water Plan update group would review the next 10-20 years. He clarified it was the community’s reduction in water use that helped the city get through the drought, not the potential of an aquifer from the east and west forks. He confirmed the east and west forks would always flow into the reservoir. The City had the ability to switch that in the event of an algae bloom.
Mayor Stromberg deferred discussion on using TAP before TID to the next meeting.
1. Public hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a supplemental budget increasing appropriations within the 2015-2017 biennium budget”
Public Hearing Open: 9:09 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed 9:09 p.m.
Councilor Morris/Marsh m/s to adopt Resolution 2016-16. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Morris, Rosenthal, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES.
1. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance modifying the Verde Village Subdivision’s Development Agreement to allow changes to the property lines, building envelopes, number of detached and attached units, approved landscaping plan, and approved public/private space plan for Phase II, the single family portion of the subdivision” and move onto second reading
Community Development Director Bill Molnar and Associate Planner Derek Severson explained suggested changes to the development agreement included having the homes constructed to Earth Advantage Zero Energy ready with certification. Adding Condition #35 would allow the applicant to work with City staff on adjusting internal pathways prior to doing the final civil engineering. If Council decided to remove the current house size limitation of 2500 square feet and garages at 540 square feet, it would go back to the Planning Commission. The applicant was fine with the 2500 square foot limitation on house size and 540 square foot for the garage.
ABSTENTIONS, CONFLICTS, EX PARTE CONTACTS
Councilor Marsh declared a site visit and remaining Council had nothing to declare.
Mayor Stromberg read the applicable criteria to approve the ordinance that included:
- The requirements for a Statutory Development Agreement are described in ORS Chapter 94
- The requirements for a City Ordinance are described in Article 10 of the City Charter
- The requirements for Outline Plan approval or modification are described in the Performance Standards Options chapter of the Ashland Municipal Code in section 18.3.9.040.A.3
- The requirements for Final Plan approval or modification are described in the Performance Standards Options chapter of the Ashland Municipal Code in section 18.3.9.040.B
COUNCIL DELIBERATION AND DECISION
Councilor Voisin wanted a path from one section of the street so there was easy access to the creek whether it required narrowed lots or creating a pathway. Councilor Marsh clarified Council had requested that when they asked for the modification allowing staff to work with the applicant regarding pathways. Mayor Stromberg wanted to add more substance to the request for pathways. He envisioned a public path where the development would not block the physical connection to the creek. Councilor Seffinger added the homes where the public path went through their lots should be able to have a taller fence to retain privacy. Councilor Morris thought the grades and slopes limited where the path could go. Having the applicant work with staff on pathway placement worked better.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to approve first reading by title only of the ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Modifying the Verde Village Subdivision's Development Agreement to Allow Changes to the Property Lines, Building Envelopes, Number of Attached and Detached Units, Approved Landscaping Plan, and Page 3 of 3 Approved Public/Private Space Plan for Phase II, the Single Family Portion of the Subdivision,” and move it on to second reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained innovation required some flexibility. The suggested changes were reasonable and it was an exciting opportunity. Councilor Marsh commented that the housing layouts had changed, the agreement now allowed fencing, there was more knowledge about the market and costs associated with maintaining open space, and yet the project still met the original values. Councilor Seffinger added it would give personal freedom and choice to people living in the homes that they should be able to have. Councilor Voisin noted the modifications the developers were requesting changed the character and distinctive quality of the neighborhood. Open space was important. Having a pathway so the people in Verde Village could access the creek would be a better reason for her to vote in favor of the agreement.
Councilor Voisin motioned to amend #35 of the agreement that prior to preparing final civil drawings, the applicant shall work with a staff advisor on revised pathway placement to provide better internal connectivity as well as a way in which residents can move from Sander Way to the creek. Motion died for lack of second.
Councilor Morris thought the modifications were as far as Council could go without a major change to the development agreement. He thought fencing would lead to larger houses. The path should remain contiguous with one entry wherever the grade made sense. Mayor Stromberg was interested in the development constructing to earth advantage standards as verified by a building inspector rather than going through the costs of official certification. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Morris, Rosenthal, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
2. Grandview Drive shared road project proposal
Public Works Director Mike Faught introduced Mark Kamrath from Construction Engineering Consultants (CEC) and Robin Warren from Applied Geotechnical Engineering & Geologic Consulting. In March 2010, a Grandview Drive resident petitioned the City to install sidewalks on Grandview Drive. The estimate to build a sidewalk there was $1,400,000 due to the topography and subsequently cost prohibitive. There was discussion on making Grandview Drive a shared road. The Transportation Commission added it as a shared road to the 2012 Transportation System Plan. In 2015, a contractor installed a non-permitted guardrail. Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) 13.02.050(A)(2)(c) exempted guardrails in relation to a driveway. The initial response from the Legal Department was the guardrail was exempt and did not require a permit. After further review, the Legal Department determined it could be a code violation. Kim Parducci from Southern Oregon Transportation Engineering looked at the guardrail and recommended not removing it because it provided vehicular safety by minimizing the potential for a severe crash. The conflict was a non-permitted action that provided the benefit of making the road safer.
Staff hired engineering firms to determine how the City could comingle the guardrail with a shared road status. The design looked at using the existing right-of-way. The standard showed an 18-foot travel lane with at least 3-foot pedestrian refuge on each side. The design showed 5-feet on each side of the road for pedestrian refuge. The design also set the speed limit at 15 miles per hour as a shared road. The City would install two automated speed display signs. The estimated engineer costs for the project was $240,000 with a $30,000 contingency. There were parts of the project staff could do themselves.
Staff noticed all impacted residents and held a meeting to discuss the proposed project. The majority of attendees supported a shared road concept and retaining the guardrail. The residents opposing the proposed concept had serious concerns regarding the guardrail.
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained installing a non-permitted guardrail was a code violation with potential penalties. Mr. Faught added if Council agreed to retain the guardrail the property owner might be responsible for modifications.
Mr. Warren explained the majority of the guardrail was located on the shoulder and could not move towards the slope or closer to the road. The only place it could possibly move was the west end. If moved to that location, someone missing the turn and hitting the guardrail made a greater impact than glancing off the side of the guardrail as it would in the current location. It could take a heavier load where it was presently located.
Council was concerned that a citizen could put up a guardrail without a permit or City involvement. It set a precedent that could be serious. Additionally, another citizen filed a code violation regarding the guardrail and the City never responded. Mr. Lohman explained in this case some form of guardrail in that location was logical. It would not make sense to have the citizen remove the guardrail and then have the City pay to install a new one. It was sensible to delay enforcement until the City determined the right solution.
Staff completed a speed study the week before that indicated west bound traffic traveled at 26 miles per hours and 24 miles per hour east bound.
Stephanie Johnson/329 Grandview Drive/Submitted a document into the record stating her concerns and considerations she wanted regarding potential impact to her property.
James Klug/329 Grandview Drive/Shared further background on 329 Grandview. The lots below their property would not have parking. If Grandview became a shared road, the City should eliminate parking on the road.
Paul Rostykus/436 Grandview Drive/His primary concern was the hazard to pedestrians on the guardrail illegally installed without a permit. He questioned how the City could consider Grandview Drive a shared street. Grandview Drive was a major access to the neighborhood. During inclement weather, it was the only safe vehicle or pedestrian access. He took issue with the public meeting regarding the guardrail, the traffic engineer report, and wanted to know when the City would respond to his code violation filed six months before.
He explained his objection to the shared road designation was that a shared road was narrow. Grandview Drive was a major thoroughfare. He wanted the City to deal with the code violation. The guardrail narrowed the road, did not provide pedestrian refuge, and set a precedent.
Perii Owen/500 Grandview Drive/Grandview Drive was becoming more dangerous for bikes, pedestrians, and now drivers. She addressed the Council Communication and proposed a public meeting should occur before any finalization of the plan. City staff and Council should do a site visit to Grandview Drive for a better understanding. The road was 18 feet wide with 3 feet wide shoulders on either side and did not provide enough driving space especially in an emergency. Some of the hillside may need modifying.
Susan Meyerott/500 Fernwood Drive/Explained the issue started when the guardrail went in and it became unsafe to walk on that side of the road. She used to walk her dog along that road to get on the trail and now drives instead. The guardrail presented an immediate safety concern. She thought the type of guardrail should change, and possibly move if Council decided to retain the guardrail. Grandview Drive was a major road that people used during inclement weather.
Council wanted more time to consider the issue and directed staff to set up a site visit for Council with staff and neighbors.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to continue the item to the July 19, 2016 Council meeting. Voice Vote: ALL AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
2. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon, to submit to Ashland electors at the November 8, 2016 General Election an advisory question to encourage the 2017 Oregon Legislature to design an improved comprehensive healthcare system for all Oregon residents, that would ensure choice of provider; have effective cost controls; provide timely and equitable access; emphasize prevention and be affordable for families, businesses, and society”
Item delayed to the July 19, 2016 Council meeting.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Councilor Lemhouse attended his son’s high school graduation, and encouraged people to attend graduations.
Councilor Seffinger returned from a trip to Guanajuato Mexico where she attended a national conference on deforestation in Mexico. The experience made her realize the importance of the relationship between the sister cities. Ashland Rotary Club helped build water tanks and improved the housing in the villages surrounding Guanajuato.
Councilor Rosenthal announced the second sister city classic featuring baseball players from Ashland and Guanajuato Mexico. Players from Guanajuato would come to town July 22-28, 2016, tour the sites, and play several baseball games in Medford and North Mountain Park.
Councilor Marsh reminded everyone the Ashland Food Bank would host an open house in the Food Bank’s pollinator garden Friday, June 24, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. to celebrate National Pollinator Week. The Eagle Scouts worked on a back garden at the Food Bank would also be on tour as well.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
Meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.
Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor