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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

6:00 p.m.
Medford City Hall, Council Chambers
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, OR 97501
The regular meeting of the Medford City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Medford City Hall Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks (arrived 6:09 p.m.; left at 6:14 p.m. and returned at 6:22 p.m.; left at 6:34 p.m. and returned at 6:35 p.m.), Tim D’Alessandro, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski; City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Manager Eric Zimmerman, City Attorney Lori Cooper, and Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Councilmember Dick Gordon was absent.
20.    Recognitions, Community Group Reports
         20.1        Employee Recognition – Denise Bostwick
                        Denise Bostwick was recognized for 30 years of service and her retirement.
30.    Oral Requests and Communications from the Audience
         30.1        George Savage, homeless, spoke regarding the loss of his belongings from Railroad Park.  He advised that a police officer told him that his property would be safe, but the items were stolen or thrown away.
         30.2        Stephen Gorham, Medford, spoke about on-street parking in his neighborhood. He requested that on-street parking be limited to one vehicle per residence.
         30.3        Darin Jones, Oregon State Little League, Eagle Point, spoke regarding state little league championship games. He thanked the City for the “wonderful experience” in welcoming his organization. He recognized the City with an award as the Exceptional Volunteer for Oregon District 6 Little League for 2018.  He specifically recognized Rich Rosenthal, Jesse Nyberg, Chris Shaull, and Parks maintenance staff.
40.    Public Hearings
         40.1     Council Bill 2019-19 A resolution adopting a seventh Supplemental Budget for the 2017‑2019 biennium.
                     Chief Financial Officer Ryan Martin outlined the $865,000 in expenses and reimbursements included in the seventh Supplemental Budget.
Public hearing open.
            No one spoke.
Public hearing closed.
Motion:  Adopt the seventh Supplemental Budget.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Eric Stark
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; Councilmember Brooks was not present for this vote.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
50.    Approval or Correction of the Minutes of the March 7, 2019 Regular Meeting
         There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as presented.
60.    Consent Calendar
         60.1     COUNCIL BILL 2019-20 An ordinance awarding a contract in an amount of $176,455.24 to Blackline, Inc. to perform slurry seal on various city streets.
         60.2     COUNCIL BILL 2019-21 An ordinance authorizing execution for an Intergovernmental Agreement with Oregon Department of Transportation for a grant for Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) projects.
         60.3     COUNCIL BILL 2019-22 An ordinance granting to ExteNet Systems, Inc., the non-exclusive privilege (Franchise) to use the public way to locate, construct, operate and maintain Facilities within the City of Medford.
Motion:  Adopt consent calendar.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by:  Tim D’Alessandro
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; Councilmember Brooks was not present for this vote.
Motion carried and so ordered.  Council Bills approved: 2019-20, 2019-21, 2019-22.
70.    Items Removed from Consent Calendar
80.    Ordinances and Resolutions
90.    Council Business
Out of sequence.
90.3     Building Director Sam Barnum noted there are four downtown projects that would require a seismic retrofit per the Municipal Code, but not pursuant to Building Code. 
            Looking for direction as a change of use for buildings can require a change of occupancy; all changes of occupancy to a higher occupancy type require a seismic retrofit within the Municipal Code but not the Building Code. He recommended revising the Municipal Code to allow the use of the Building Code or Municipal Code; or not require a seismic retrofit for an occupancy of 150 or less.  This change would remove restrictions for downtown businesses.
            City Manager Brian Sjothun advised that the requested change is fairly simple and could be brought back to Council in April.  Normally a request like this would move forward to a study session, but property owners are waiting to move forward or cancel their building plans.
            Mr. Barnum clarified that with his requested changes, the City would not require a seismic retrofit, unless the occupancy was more than 150. 
Motion:  Direct staff to bring back proposed Municipal Code changes.
Moved by:  Tim D’Alessandro                                                Seconded by: Alex Poythress
Councilmember D’Alessandro clarified it would revise the Code to 150.
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
         90.2     Committee Reports and Communications
  1. Councilmember D’Alessandro attended a portion of a Water Commission meeting; Board is discussing meter change-outs.
  2. Councilmember D’Alessandro attended a portion of a Transportation Commission meeting; members discussed prioritization of the Tier 1 projects.
c.   Councilmember Bearnson attended TRADCO meeting; they discussed how roundabouts are safer than intersections.
         90.1     Proclamation issued:  Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day – March 29, 2019
Back in sequence.
100.  City Manager and Staff Reports
         100.1   2019 Federal Legislative Agenda
Mr. Sjothun noted the Council Officers will be travelling to Washington DC and requested the approval of their federal agenda.  Councilmember Zarosinski recommended not using the term “mega corridor” when referencing the South Stage project with legislators.
Motion:  Approve the federal legislative agenda.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by:  Tim D’Alessandro
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
         100.2   Wildfire Hazard Mitigation
Deputy Chief of Fire and Life Safety Greg Kleinberg spoke of proposed building requirements for homes within Medford wildfire hazard areas. He outlined the Deer Ridge Fire and other fires in our area. 
On January 24, 2019, Section R327.4 of the Oregon Residential Code became effective; it is not a statewide mandate and must be adopted locally. The intent is to provide minimum standards that reduce or eliminate ignition potential of new homes built in wildfire hazard zones. This is accomplished using exterior products that resist ignition and protect specific vulnerable areas like underfloors, attics, rain gutters, etc. from ember ignition threat.
Mr. Sjothun clarified that Mr. Kleinberg was requesting direction on whether to hold a study session or bring back a potential code change for Council consideration.
Mr. Kleinberg noted there was previous opposition from homebuilders associations, mainly regarding the potential cost increase. Our local homebuilder’s association has been unresponsive. The Oregon Homebuilders Association was part of the state stakeholder group and agreed to the finalized Oregon Code.  Other areas were looking at the potential code change: the City of Ashland, Klamath Fire District #1 and Fire District #3.
Motion:  Direct staff to come back with wildfire hazard mitigation code change and formally adopt R327.4.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by: Kevin Stine
In response to Councilmembers Zarosinski and Poythress, Mr. Kleinberg advised that many builders are already using the recommended ignition-resistant products. The proposed changes include having a specific composition roof, using approved ignition-resistant or cement based siding products, boxing-in the eaves, using finer mesh on vents or vents that resist flame intrusion, and screening rain gutters. He estimated a potential increase of $2,000 to $2,500 for the average home. The changes would only apply to homes within our wildfire hazard zone.
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
         100.3   Severe Weather Discussion
Deputy City Manager Eric Zimmerman, Emergency Management Coordinator Melissa Cano and Deputy Fire Marshall Tanner Fairrington presented information on declaring an emergency, possible alternatives to that declaration, shelter requirements, the provider network and staff recommendations.
Ms. Cano explained that our Mayor has the ability to declare an emergency and any declaration should include the nature, boundaries, anticipated duration and any special regulations. Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management’s definition of an emergency specifies that a City must exhaust its local resources or accrue damages in excess of $768k. She also advised that if the City were to issue a declaration of emergency, it would be filed with Jackson County’s Office of Emergency Management before submission to the state. 
Mr. Zimmerman reported that temporary shelters require a conditional use permit (CUP); and recommended revising Chapter 10 to include “emergency shelter”, to prevent the declaration of an emergency before opening emergency shelter.  Mr. Fairrington added that the proposed emergency shelter Code would not require a CUP process or be limited to a specific time period. Staff would partner with a provider network to develop the requirements for emergency shelters.
Mr. Zimmerman advised that staff met with non-profit, faith-based and social service organizations to discuss their concerns with serving as an emergency shelter facility. Agencies reported that 1-2 nights would be manageable, but anticipated difficulty with staffing, food and daily operations with longer stays.
Ms. Cano clarified portions of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s definition of an emergency.  “Exhausting resources” is not specifically defined by the organization, but she defined it to be the point when we have done all we can during an emergency. The $768k figure referenced in their definition is determined by Jackson County, at the direction of the State. The figure is based on our population.
Mr. Zimmerman stated that if Mayor isn’t available to declare an emergency, the duty passes to the President then Vice President, then the remaining Councilmembers in order of seniority. At this point, the Council cannot override the Mayor’s authority in declaring an emergency.
Mr. Sjothun reported that during a recent Continuum of Care Executive Board meeting, there is a willingness by providers to assist with emergency and temporary shelter, but they need time to organize and prepare their facilities before making a commitment. 
Mr. Zimmerman clarified that this potential Code amendment will allow the City to open and use emergency shelter for citizens, without a formal emergency declaration. In addition to the Code amendment, staff will collaborate with outside agencies to create and continuously update a list of pre-approved emergency organizations, the services provided, their locations and contact information.
Motion:  Direct staff to bring back recommendations regarding the six items listed on page 52 of our Council agenda.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by: Kay Brooks
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
         100.4   Further reports from City Manager
a.   Mr. Sjothun noted a walk event is scheduled for April 20.  Participants will walk along the greenway from Hawthorne Park to Bear Creek Park and back. An invitation will be sent to the Council; he encouraged the public to participate as well.
  1. Mr. Sjothun thanked all the staff involved with Agenda Item 100.3, the severe weather and temporary shelters topic.
  2. Mayor Wheeler voiced his appreciation of the booklet Kristina “KJ” Johnsen created for the Oregon Mayor’s Association.
  3. Councilmember Brooks also thanked staff for their work on Agenda Item 100.3.
110.  Adjournment
There being no further business, this Council meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.
The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded and are filed in the City Recorder’s Office. The complete agenda of this meeting is filed in the City Recorder’s Office.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder

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