411 West 8th Street, Medford
January 14, 2016
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon
- Hawthorne Park Facility Public/Private Partnership
- Park SDC Consultant
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, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts; Parks and Recreation Director Brian Sjothun
Councilmember Daniel Bunn was absent.
Mayor Wheeler provided information on former Mayor Lou Hannum's funeral this Saturday.
Hawthorne Park Facility Public/Private Partnership
Parks and Recreation Director Brian Sjothun stated this topic has been presented to the Parks & Recreation Commission and requested direction from Council on developing a public-private partnership for a facility at Hawthorne Park through a Development and Disposition Agreement (DDA). He introduced those in the audience that have been instrumental as partners in this process and provided information on a potential pool and a community recreation center. This partnership would provide opportunities for both parties, such as summertime programs, and would complete the Hawthorne Park Master Plan. Staff will be looking at various uses, such as aquatics, gymnasium, dry recreation, and reviewing potential partners. The goal is to come back to Council early summer with recommendations. Mr. Sjothun commented that we are parkland rich and facility poor.
Councilmember Corcoran stated that as liaison to the Parks & Recreation Commission he suggested Council look at this in the eyes of what we did on other projects, such as the Commons. He explained the concept, that this would be a management agreement that would explain who would do what, including maintenance. Councilmember Bearnson stated that this would help revitalize Hawthorne Park and provide activities for kids. The size of the pool was questioned; Mr. Sjothun noted that it is listed in meters for competitive swim. The community recreation center was discussed and Mr. Sjothun stated that they have a group ready to go; pertaining to a bond measure we can say Phase 1/Phase 2. Mr. Sjothun noted pools are a drain on cash flows but with a DDA we will charge the partners for their usage which would give us unique opportunities and help with our operating costs. The open space was also questioned; Mr. Sjothun noted it is open space for the Master Plan but the Plan can be opened up. Councilmember Bearnson questioned what we are giving the thumbs up for; Mr. Sjothun noted that it will depend on how much the developer can build. Councilmember Jackle requested more information but will give a thumbs up for the DDA.
Park SDC Consultant
Mr. Sjothun noted there will be two consultants on Skype, John Ghilarducci of FCS Group and Steve Dew of Conservation Techniques. Mr. Ghilarducci started the presentation explaining what would be presented (see PowerPoint presentation). SDC’s can only be used for capital construction. There are two components, a buy-in in the existing system and a fair share of planned projects. The focus on this update will be on the improvement fee, which Mr. Dew's group will be working on. ORS gives us a framework for the rules. Comparable park SDCs were given for various cities throughout the state; Bend is over $6,000 whereas Medford is slightly over $3,000. An update of a Master Plan is a great time to update the SDC methodology and fees. Key policy issues were addressed: 1) methodology options, 2) area specific SDCs 3) UGB expansion 4) school inventory 5) population forecast and 6) new density requirements.
Mr. Dew will continue to work with the Parks Department to update the plan. Mr. Sjothun noted we are looking at bringing back two options for Council consideration, both standards driven and improvements driven. Pertaining to area specific SDCs, the SE area stays in the SE area. Councilmember Corcoran questioned if area-specific SDC’s helps the parks poor area. Mr. Sjothun noted if they want a higher level of service it can balance out by paying a higher level SDC to help other areas. Mr. Ghilarducci stated that we need good data on which parks specifically serve an area and where growth is going to occur; Mr. Sjothun noted we have that data. Councilmember Corcoran wanted staff to have the right path but does not want areas in Medford that lack funding for parks. Councilmember Jackle questioned housing affordability and noted that he has received complaints there there are no parks in the southeast area. Mr. Sjothun noted we cannot use SDC fees to update a park. He noted that once this process is done we will all understand this better.
Mayor Wheeler questioned the UGB; Mr. Sjothun wanted Council's consideration on this. Mr. Dew stated that the City does not have direct responsibility for what happens outside the City limits. Unless the City can make an agreement with the County the City might be ahead of itself. It was noted the County just updated their Parks SDC. Councilmember Jackle questioned collecting from those that will eventually be coming into the City. Mr. Sjothun noted we can move forward without considering the UGB and there may be an appeal to the UGB. This new plan would be for six years, whereas the 25-year plan they are currently using expected life to go on without the recession. By going to a six-year plan it can be looked at with a more reasonable future expectation.
Mr. Sjothun noted we are looking at developing partnerships in areas where we have no parks, such as by Wilson School. Pertaining to the population forecast, Mr. Sjothun stated we use the numbers from the Comp Plan or the numbers from the State. Mayor Wheeler questioned current growth trends, Mr. Dew did not know how it relates to the UGB process. They want whatever forecast we use to match the Plan otherwise it does not make a difference to the SDC. The only real impact to the forecast in projecting forward helps with needs, such as parkland. Councilmember Gordon stated if we use the Comp Plan we are overstating our needs. Councilmember Zarosinski noted there is a gray area with the State Plan, wanted it to be consistent, and did not think it affects the final number. Mr. Sjothun noted that we will look at the required development density that Councilmember Gordon requested. Councilmember Gordon noted we need open space if we are making higher density neighborhoods.
Mr. Sjothun noted this will be brought back to Council and the Planning Commission for adoption. Mr. Dew will also work on the ADA Transition Plan for park facility which is a separate project of the Leisure Service Plan.
The meeting adjourned at 1:14 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC