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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 02, 2019

May 2, 2019

 6:00 p.m.
 Medford City Hall, Council Chambers
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

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, Tim D’Alessandro, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski; Councilmembers Kay Brooks and Dick Gordon were absent.
Deputy City Manager Eric Zimmerman; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
20.    Recognitions, Community Group Reports
         20.1     Alba Committee Quarterly Report
Robin Snider, President of Alba Committee, highlighted the recent Alba student exchange program where 26 students and three chaperones represented Medford. Ashleigh Scheuneman and Campbell Bastian shared their experiences and what this trip meant to them. Ms. Snider noted the Alba students will be in Medford later this year.
         20.2     Oregon Department of Transportation Update
Jerry Marmon, District 8 ODOT Manager, provided information on their challenges with the local transient population, transient camp cleanup, as well as vegetation management.
Councilmember Bearnson questioned if the overpass design standards will be changing; Mr. Marmon noted the new designs will take care of transients living under the bridges. Councilmember Bearnson questioned if there are issues such as this with other cities; Mr. Marmon noted it is all along I-5. Councilmember D’Alessandro stated there is support from many agencies to work on these issues. Mr. Marmon thanked the Medford Police Department for their assistance, for without them, they wouldn’t be able to get out there. He also noted clean-up notices are based on legal notice guidelines for the Portland area, which sets the policy for the entire state.
Gary Leaming, ODOT, thanked the City for their assistance with the opening of the new expressway. He also spoke about other projects in the area.
         20.3     Mayor Wheeler presented a proclamation to Shae Johns, President and CEO of Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries. Ms. Johns explained how Goodwill Industries came to pass and educational opportunities.
         20.4     Mayor Wheeler acknowledged County Commissioner Bob Strosser and Sheriff Sickler, who were in attendance.
30.    Oral Requests and Communications from the Audience
         30.1     Levi Murray questioned if there was anything the City could do about needle disposal in the parks. He stated there are red disposal mailboxes in Eugene for this purpose.
         30.2     Christopher Gaynor talked about issues with a nuisance property regarding noise, including violations the property owner has been cited for, such as trash accumulation. He has diligently followed the Code and has tried to work with the Medford Police.
         30.3     Robert Shand appreciated the City looking into an aquatic facility but was concerned with the location suggested, the Wes Howard facility.
         30.4     Maria Gerolago stated her son goes and cleans up Bear Creek Greenway and requested Council talk to the homeless with her. She suggested those in the jail should be cleaning up the Greenway. Ms. Gerolago also suggested a needle exchange program and a trash can dumpster for them. The homeless need to be held responsible.
         30.5     Nancy Sweisthal, resident of the Barnett Townhomes, stated she opposed the Bear Creek Greenway expansion, which is coming through their backyard. She provided photos of issues they are having in their area. She stated there are 82 families and over 100 children that live there.
40.    Public Hearings
40.1     COUNCIL BILL 2019-30 An ordinance approving a minor amendment to the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) Map of the Medford Comprehensive Plan by changing the land use designation of 5.26 acres located north of Barnett Road and east of Murphy Road, from Urban High Density Residential (UH) to Service Commercial (SC).  CP-19-014
                     Dustin Severs, Planner III of the Planning Department, presented the staff report stating that the Planning Commission, along with staff, recommended the project.  The proposal is for a GLUP map amendment.
                     Councilmember D’Alessandro questioned the number of residential homes nearby; Mr. Severs noted there were about five. Councilmember Stine questioned the concerns brought forth during the Planning Commission hearing; Mr. Severs noted there were various concerns brought forth, such as noise and traffic.
Public hearing opened.
Jason Stranberg, Adroit Construction and representing Asante, introduced Steven Schwaeber of Mahlum Architects and Keith Russell of Asante. Mr. Schwaeber provided information on Asante and the benefits of the Cancer Health Center in one location. He noted the site distance requirements of the Center to the hospital.
Scott and Wendi Sterling thought there might be a better spot to hold their facility. Mr. Sterling expressed concern with traffic, noise, and didn’t want to see a skyscraper in their back yard. Mrs. Sterling noted their neighbors across the street are concerned as well.
Mr. Russell stated that they must be at this location in order to meet guidelines for reimbursement. If it were developed as residential, it would still be multi-story. They are willing to work as much as possible with the neighbors. Mr. Schwaeber stated the zoning requirements for this tax lot is the same that is presently set.
Public hearing closed.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance.
Moved by:  Alex Poythress                                              Seconded by:  Clay Bearnson
Councilmember Poythress noted we are taking away from high density housing but creating more jobs for people. Councilmember Zarosinski noted this is a GLUP map change; with this decision housing is still an option.
Roll call:  Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Ordinance #2019-30 was duly adopted.
         40.2     COUNCIL BILL 2019-31  An ordinance amending sections 1.100, 7.022, 7.023, and 7.900 of the Medford Municipal Code pertaining to the use of fireworks.
Fire Marshall Greg Kleinberg presented the staff report. Staff has been given direction on a possible firework ordinance change. In 1993, Council Bill 93-7395 banned the use of all fireworks in the City limits. In 2009, Council Bill 2009-91 allowed the use of fireworks in the City limits and banned the use of all fireworks in hazardous wildfire areas, Greenway, any City park, and any public school. Four proposals were given 1) keep current language without changes 2) keep current language but increase violation fines to $1,000 3) limit the use of Oregon legal fireworks to July 4, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. and December 31 6 p.m. - January 1, 1 a.m. with increased penalties/fines for violations and, 4) total ban on fireworks; increased penalties /fines for violations.
Councilmember Poythress questioned if the total ban was again in place would they be concerned with safety messages; Mr. Kleinberg noted yes, they would not be able to provide information. Councilmember Stine asked about fines from other cities; Mr. Kleinberg stated they vary, with the highest fine in Eugene for up to $2,500.
Fire Chief Fish noted illegal fireworks also put others at risk. He provided information on past fires in this area. The Fire Department would need help enforcing the ordinance if approved, such as targeting areas that have had fireworks in the past. Council discussed the timeline as presented on one of the ordinances. Councilmember Poythress questioned the number of calls and enforcement; Deputy Police Chief Clauson noted they fined nine citations for illegal fireworks and it is difficult to find the actual property where the fireworks went off. There were a total of 357 calls, which included all type of Police calls.
Public hearing opened.
Randell Carley, TNT Fireworks, Silverton, noted their biggest competitor is illegal fireworks, which are sold in other states and brought in. If there is a total ban those illegal fireworks will still be brought in. He agreed with raising the fines, so if caught, they will not do it in the future. He noted there is an app called “Nail’em” to assist in prosecuting those who are using illegal fireworks.
Bobbi Helman, Medford, stated when she served on Council they banned wood stove usage at certain times. She stated the City is facing new issues with fires and it is a big decision.
Public hearing closed.

Motion:  Adopt Option #2
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by:  Kevin Stine
Councilmember Bearnson stated if anyone wanted to increase the fine he would support it. Councilmember D’Alessandro would like to narrow the days to three days, although Councilmember Stine would like to add days to include a weekend for those who work on the 4th of July.
Amended Motion #1:  Amend motion to include July 1-6 (Original amended motion was to narrow the number of days from three days, to five, then withdrawn.)
Moved by:  Tim D’Alessandro                                          Seconded by:  Eric Stark
Amended Motion Roll call #1: D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; Bearnson voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Amended Motion #2:  Amend motion to increase the fine on illegal fireworks from $1,000 to $2,500.
Moved by:  Alex Poythress                                              Seconded by:  Clay Bearnson
Amended Motion Roll call #2: Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, and Stine voting yes; Zarosinski voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Main Motion Roll call:  Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Ordinance #2019-31 was duly adopted.
Councilmember Zarosinski appreciated the information on past practices.
50.    Approval or Correction of the Minutes of the April 18, 2019 Regular Meeting
         There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as presented.
Mayor Wheeler called a 10 minute break at 7:58 p.m.
The meeting was reconvened at 8:13 p.m., with the same members present.
60.    Consent Calendar
70.    Items Removed from Consent Calendar
80.    Ordinances and Resolutions
         80.1     COUNCIL BILL 2019-32 A resolution establishing a public hearing date for the vacation of both a portion of a public storm drainage easement and a Public Utility Easement (PUE) on two non-contiguous parcels located north of Midway Road, west of Interstate 5, and east of Cummings Lane in the SFR-10 (Single-Family Residential, ten dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district. (SV-19-044)
Motion:  Approve the resolution.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Tim D’Alessandro
Roll call:  Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Resolution #2019-32 was duly adopted.
         80.2     COUNCIL BILL 2019-33 A resolution approving a Jackson County Order to initiate formation of a Jackson County Law Enforcement Service District and consenting to the inclusion of City territory within the boundaries of the district.
                     Jackson County Sheriff Sickler presented information on the proposed new jail facility. Cost of crime study from 2013-2017 for Jackson County was $171.2 million and is more expensive in our area due to released inmates. Property was purchased at Hwy 62 and Vilas; all aspects were positive. This model will allow us to conduct treatment for addiction and mental health issues within the current design. Proposed district rate will be $0.8353 per $1000 of assessed value. The County will commit to continue contributing general funds in addition to the funds generated by the District.
Motion:  Approve the resolution.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Tim D’Alessandro
Councilmember Zarosinski questioned adding mental health and reduction of jail housing; Sheriff Sickler noted it would not decrease their jail housing as the mental health has been included in the plan. They think they can be successful as they have reviewed other jail locations. Councilmember Stark questioned when the future County development would be; Sheriff Sickler noted they could complete the mission within the confines of the smaller footprints. Future development would be as needed. Councilmember Bearnson questioned cost impacts of items, such as court, that could reduce cost to the County; Sheriff Sickler talked about the cycle that an offender can do. Police Chief Sparacino talked about the issues we have due to lack of jail space. County Commissioner Strosser noted the longer it takes to get services to an individual the more difficult it is to treat them. Councilmember Bearnson questioned mental health assistance before the offender goes to jail. Commissioner Strosser noted it is not that we are not fulfilling our obligation, the program was taken from us. Councilmember Bearnson questioned if there could be a collaborative board to manage the jail vs. Jackson County. The funds dedicated to this District fall under the Sheriff; his boss is the public. The Sheriff’s Department is very collaborative with other entities in the valley. Commissioner Strosser stated dealing with homelessness is a regional issue and tripling additional floors to the existing jail will cost more due to staffing. Commissioner Poythress questioned what the impacts the new jail would have to Medford Police. Chief Sparacino noted initial impacts will be less warrants. Sheriff Sickler noted maintenance of the existing building would be very expensive. Commissioner Strosser noted we qualify for seven additional judges but no place to put them.
Roll call:  Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Resolution #2019-33 was duly adopted.
90.    Council Business
         90.1     Proclamations issued:
                           Peace Officers Memorial Day – May 15, 2019
                           Goodwill Industries Week – May 5 – 11, 2019
                           Municipal Clerks Week – May 5 - 11, 2019
                           National Tourism Week – May 5 - 11, 2019
                           Bike to Work Week – May 13 - 17, 2019
                           Building Safety Month – May 2019
                           National Preservation Month – May 2019
         90.2     Committee Reports and Communications
                     a.   Councilmember D’Alessandro reported there was discussion on fireworks during the Council Officers meeting. He also noted he attended the Water Commission meeting where they are working on their vision and goals.
                     b.   Councilmember Poythress noted Travel Medford is moving their kiosk location at the Medford Airport in order to make it more visible.
                     c.   Councilmember Bearnson commented on two ideas presented earlier; he liked the idea of a safe place to dispose of needles in public places as well as the Nail‘Em app.
100.  City Manager and Staff Reports
         100.1   Larson Creek Greenway Public Process
Public Works Director Cory Crebbin provided information on the public involvement regarding the conditional use permit for the Larson Creek Greenway. The 20-foot wide easement provided by Barnett Town Homes was dedicated by the property owner in 1990. The easement was reduced where not needed, and various types of easements were needed, such as slope easements. He questioned if Council wanted to provide additional direction or direct staff to work with the property owner to install additional screening with a not to exceed cost. If so, they would need property owner agreements and any changes would need a construction change order agreement. It was noted the owner approved of the permit; it is the tenants who are upset. Councilmember Stark questioned if the tenants want the screening; Mr. Crebbin noted that is the only thing we can address.
         100.2   Further reports from City Manager
110.  Adjournment
There being no further business, this Council meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m. to an Executive Session.
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.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
City Recorder

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