September 10, 2015
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts; Planning Director Jim Huber; Planning Principal Planner Kelly Akin; Finance Director Alison Chan
Councilmember Eli Matthews was absent.
Business Fire Sprinkler and Alarm Compliance
Fire Marshall Greg Kleinberg stated that there is software called Compliance Engine which will help make Fire become more efficient; in adding this Fire will need to make a minor code amendment (see PowerPoint presentation). Fire codes and standards are required by the Oregon Fire Code. Mr. Kleinberg presented the steps using the Compliance Engine. A proposed code amendment was presented using changes from other cities.
Fire Chief Brian Fish requested Mr. Kleinberg present the issues with this; Mr. Kleinberg stated that we have contractors that are certified and some are not. Now only certified contractors will be allowed to work on kitchen systems. Sprinkler systems have not been as big of an issue. He presented additional information on how this will help, such as future inspectors.
Councilmember Stine questioned what buildings need inspections; Mr. Kleinberg stated that this only applies to buildings with life savings in them and that we have a database on the buildings, such as the Rogue Valley Mall. They are working on a way to flag if there is only one person to contact in the occupancy such as the Rogue Valley Mall. Councilmember Stine questioned if there are fines involved; Mr. Kleinberg stated that typically a person doesn’t know that they need to do it. Councilmember Stine questioned if we need to approve the contract; Mr. Kleinberg noted that we have the contract approved already.
Councilmember Bearnson questioned auto fry with a self-suppression system; Mr. Kleinberg noted those need to be tested as well. He also noted that we don’t have all those locations but will add as we need to. Councilmember Gordon questioned if we are double testing; Mr. Kleinberg noted that the county does not do that such as fire inspections. Councilmember Gordon stated that some suppression companies go out of business so you have nobody to certify. Mr. Kleinberg noted that he has a list for several certified companies that people can use. Councilmember Bunn questioned if you can grant a waiver should it not be serviceable; Mr. Kleinberg stated that you can. He provided information on manufacturer’s instructions. Councilmember Gordon questioned the cost to the business for the test; Mr. Kleinberg noted it depends on the system but could be a few hundred dollars. Mr. Kleinberg noted that he tells them to get several quotes. Councilmember Corcoran questioned how the system knows what inspections are needed for each building; Mr. Kleinberg noted they already have a database that has that information and are already getting reports in that are being entered. Councilmember Corcoran questioned loss revenue; Mr. Kleinberg noted that they choose to put it off or they purchase the property. Mr. Kleinberg noted that the information they have will be added to the new software. Fire Chief Brian Fish noted that businesses are inspected by the Fire Department all the time. Fire cannot certify but can check and add information to the current database.
Councilmember Corcoran questioned what happens if the business owners do not have their items tested; Mr. Kleinberg noted there would be fines and it is a numbers game with the insurance companies. Councilmember Corcoran questioned if it is required in the insurance policy; Mr. Kleinberg noted that they would go to court from the insurance company to the business. Councilmember Bunn stated that this will be cleaned up through the years as the fire inspectors go out; Mr. Kleinberg noted that it would be. He also noted how some will be put on self-inspection if there are no issues and they are a small business.
Councilmember Jackle questioned the cost of $10; Mr. Kleinberg stated that there could be several systems and it would only be $10. Incremental fees were discussed as well. Councilmember Bearnson questioned if this is to help determine which systems are not in compliance; Mr. Kleinberg noted they would get a notice after six months for kitchens. That is because they have a lot of grease and can get clogged. He indicated 30% of fires are in kitchens.
Mr. Kleinberg noted that the $10 goes to The Compliance Engine and we don’t get any money from it. Councilmember Zarosinski questioned how people would know about this; Mr. Kleinberg noted that it will be on the website and on a separate web site as well.
Parking Study Update
Dan Brame, Parking Consultant, provided an update on the parking plan. He stated that in 2009/10 the City asked him to present a parking study. The goal was not to have a deficit. He showed a PowerPoint presentation, which included items such as longer parking spaces around Starbucks.
Councilmember Corcoran questioned a loading zone area that is not used on Main Street between Bartlett and Central on the South side; the owner thought he could work without it as there would be an additional spot for customers if it was not there. Mr. Brame noted that it would be up to the Parking Commission. Mr. Brame presented options that are recommended to the Parking Commission per the study that was done regarding usage of downtown parking.
The SkyPark parking was discussed and a letter was provided by Oregon Architecture; the question is, does the City want that to be reserved or permit parking. Mr. Brame’s current recommendation was for permit parking. Councilmember Stine remembered that it was to be permit parking and questioned if that was discussed at the Parking Commission; Mr. Brame noted that it had and they recommend Mr. Brame’s suggestion. Councilmember Corcoran questioned the stacking of parking; Mr. Brame noted that it is not seen around here but it does require a reserved space. The City could use a future lift on the outside of the building. Overflow could be at the Riverside south lot. City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke noted the intent was that this will come back to Council in a study session at a later time. Councilmember Gordon saw this as a re-design from what SPAC had approved; Mr. Hoke noted that is why he wanted to bring it back. Councilmember Gordon questioned if this should come back to SPAC; Mr. Brame presented information on the access to the parking lot.
Recommendation and conclusions:
This study shows that the parking has vastly improved since 2010. There has been one rate decrease and no rate increases. Parking Commission went very well.
Councilmember Corcoran supported 95% of what he said but questioned the Sky Park lot. Reserved spaces for the developers would be attractive. What is the impact to the City as requested by the developer. Mr. Brame stated that we lost control of the developer; we might keep control on the price. Councilmember Corcoran said we need to give something up if we allow homeowners to live downtown. Councilmember Bearnson questioned if we met halfway; Councilmember Corcoran stated that he is talking stacking. Mayor Wheeler stated that we will have a study session on this. Councilmember Stine questioned the data of where people are getting tickets; Lynette O’Neal stated that ticket data is done separately but a majority is overtime for any spaces, such as 1 or 2 hour parking. Tickets on lots that are paid used to be the major places for tickets; not so now. Warnings are given now. Permits are given for those who work downtown and range from 10-25/month for permits. There is currently a waiting list for permit parking. With the new parking lots coming on board this will help. Mr. Brame noted that before people would only pay for a few hours versus permit; no so anymore.
Mayor Wheeler questioned the reserved parking in Middleford; Ms. O’Neal noted that it is still used and stated that it is because there is no place except to back up.
Mayor Wheeler questioned diagonal parking; Mr. Brame noted it was not within his scope but the Parking Committee would be involved in that.
Councilmember Zarosinski questioned permit parking; reserve is $40 per month and permit is $10-25 per month. Councilmember Zarosinski questioned if this makes up for the overselling; Ms. O’Neal noted that not necessarily as we don’t enforce in the evening. SkyPark wants 24/7 and wants to manage. Council continued to discuss parking issues.
Councilmember Bearnson noted diagonal parking could slow traffic down to cross Central before it turns red.
Mayor Wheeler questioned a recommendation; Ms. O’Neal stated that the Parking Commission made some recommendations and when they are finished they will come back to Council.
The meeting adjourned to the regular City Council meeting at 1:14 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC