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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Meeting Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16, 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:
Acting Mayor Tim D’Alessandro; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark and Kevin Stine; City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Manager Eric Zimmerman, City Attorney Lori Cooper, and Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Mayor Gary Wheeler and Councilmembers Dick Gordon and Michael Zarosinski were absent.
20.    Recognitions, Community Group Reports
         Parks Technician Stryder Scofield was recognized for 25 years of service.
         20.1        Quarterly Economic Development update by Colleen Padilla of SOREDI
SOREDI Executive Director Colleen Padilla provided an update on the agency’s strategy initiative. She noted that more than $182k has been committed by more than 30 community partners and SOREDI continues to seek funding through legislators. Steering committee invitations have been distributed, with a goal to complete the study by October or November. She was hopeful that funding to implement the plan would be secured by that time.
SOREDI partners with the Small Business Development Center to assist entrepreneurs.
30.    Oral Requests and Communications from the Audience
40.    Public Hearings
40.1     COUNCIL BILL 2019-34 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 1.57 acres located at the southwest corner of Stewart Avenue and South Columbus Avenue, from Urban Residential (UR) to Urban Medium Density Residential (UM). (CP-19-021) Land Use, Quasi-Judicial
            Planner III Dustin Severs presented the staff report. Columbia Care petitioned for a Comprehensive Plan update regarding property on the southwest corner of Stewart Avenue and South Columbus Avenue. The property is surrounded by both residences and businesses; it is currently zoned SFR-10. There are nine units on the property, which were built in 1950. 
            Applicant submitted plans to construct a 12-unit apartment complex and one duplex on the property. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposal on April 11, 2019.  Staff recommends this GLUP map amendment. 
Public hearing opened.
Acting Mayor Tim D’Alessandro advised that ex parte communications must be reported; none were noted by Councilmembers.
a.   Clark Stevens from Richard Stevens and Associates represented the applicant.  He advised that the application complies with the requirements for a GLUP amendment changing the zoning on the property. Columbia Care is building the units for local veterans. Mr. Stevens requested rebuttal time, if needed. 
Public hearing closed.
Motion:  Approve the Ordinance.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Kay Brooks
Councilmember Brooks appreciated the new units for area veterans.
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
         40.2     COUNCIL BILL 2019-35 An ordinance amending Chapter 10 of the Medford Municipal Code by amending sections 10.012, 10.427, 10.428, 10.430, 10.430A, 10.430B, 10.431, 10.451, and 10.462 pertaining to cross sections, level-of-service, and legacy streets. (DCA-18-179) Land Use, Legislative
                     Principal Planner Carla Paladino provided the staff report noting these Code changes for cross sections, level of service and legacy streets are required to comply with the newly implemented Transportation System Plan.
                     The City will maintain the current level of service at intersections, with the exception of the intersections at Stewart Avenue and Highway 99 and Barnett Road and Highland Avenue. The requirements for cross sections include separated or buffered bicycle lanes for higher order streets. Legacy streets were defined as existing streets that may be missing specific improvements, like sidewalks bike lanes or center turn lanes.
                     Staff held multiple meetings with City boards and commissions, the public and City departments to gather opinions, receive feedback and address issues. 
                     Councilmember Stine asked whether staff considered the information submitted by Siskiyou Velo regarding bicycle standards; it had been discussed between planning and engineering staff, but no language changes had been proposed. Councilmember Stark questioned whether a study or inventory of legacy streets was conducted or created; specific streets were reviewed, but a complete inventory was not prepared.
Public hearing opened. 
  1. Harlan Bittner, Siskiyou Velo Bicycle Club, Medford, requested that all arterial streets have separated bicycle lanes and that the lanes include an eight inch separation stripe, a bicycle symbol and be at least five feet wide.
  1. Bob Shand, Medford, noted that the Siskiyou Velo Bicycle Club spoke for multiple segments of Medford. He believed the definition of legacy streets can be confusing for the public. He also requested that staff include the plan on the website for public access.
Public hearing closed.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Eric Stark
Councilmember Stine noted the bicycle riding community is growing and hoped that the City will continue to provide transportation options. Councilmember Stark agreed and reiterated that the ordinance provides a safe structure for City streets. Councilmember Bearnson also agreed that bicycle safety continues to improve. Acting Mayor D’Alessandro stated that he works in the transportation business. He believed that the ordinance and TSP are flexible enough to meet safety requirements.
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered. 
50.    Approval or Correction of the Minutes of the May 2, 2019 Regular Meeting
         There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as presented.
60.    Consent Calendar
         60.3     COUNCIL BILL 2019-38 An ordinance authorizing execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Medford and Jackson County to provide records management software access to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
         60.4     COUNCIL BILL 2019-39 An ordinance awarding a contract in an amount of $179,334.00 to Central Pipeline, Inc., for construction of a left turn lane from Table Rock Road to Morningside Street.
         60.5     COUNCIL BILL 2019-40  An ordinance authorizing payment of Street SDC credits to Pacific Trend Building and Developing, LLC in the amount of $328,983.70.
Motion:  Adopt consent calendar.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                    Seconded by:  Alex Poythress
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.  Council Bills approved: 2019-38, 2019-39 and 2019-40.
70.    Items Removed from Consent Calendar
Councilmember Stine requested the removal of Item 60.1 from the Consent Calendar.  Councilmember Brooks requested the removal of Item 60.2 from the Consent Calendar.
         60.1     COUNCIL BILL 2019-36 A resolution urging the Oregon Legislature to Enact Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) reforms that reduce pension costs for public employers, and approving the City of Medford’s membership in PERS Solutions for Public Services Coalition.
                     Councilmember Stine advised that he wasn’t opposed to statewide changes, but believed this ordinance was only symbolic and he did not support it.  Councilmember Brooks agreed with many of the points, but believed that the retirement program enabled the City to recruit and maintain employees.
Motion:  Approve Council Bill 2019-36.
Moved by:  Eric Stark                                                       Seconded by:  Alex Poythress
Roll call:  Councilmembers D’Alessandro, Poythress and Stark voting yes; Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks and Stine voting no.
Motion failed.
         60.2     COUNCIL BILL 2019-37 A resolution authorizing re-application for State designation of the Medford Urban Enterprise Zone.
Councilmember Brooks did not object to the Enterprise Zone. She requested information on the amount of property taxes that were forfeited during this program. City Manager Brian Sjothun explained that since its inception, businesses have invested $144 million within the zone and the county has lost just under $143k in property taxes from 2008 through 2018.
Motion:  Approve Council Bill 2019-37.
Moved by:  Kay Brooks                                                    Seconded by:  Kevin Stine
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
80.    Ordinances and Resolutions
90.    Council Business
         90.1     Proclamations issued:
                        Kids to Parks Day – May 18, 2019
                        National Public Works Week – May 19-25, 2019
         90.2     Committee Reports and Communications
a.   Acting Mayor D’Alessandro noted he attended a TRADCO meeting wherein they discussed the viaduct widening; the Water Commission is finalizing their budget.
b.   Councilmember Poythress advised that there are vacancies on the Parking Commission and encouraged people to apply.
c.   Acting Mayor D’Alessandro spoke about the topics discussed during the Council Officers’ meeting:
i.    Whether the City can restrict public signage during special events. City Attorney Lori Cooper advised that special event holders may create their own regulations for those participating in their events, outside of the regulations imposed by a public entity.
      She recommended that the City not restrict people from displaying signage during public events, as it violates the public’s Freedom of Speech. Councilmember Poythress questioned the difference between graphic violent depictions and lewd and/or pornographic images; Ms. Cooper responded that the Court of Appeals has upheld a case involving abortion signage similar to that displayed at the Pear Blossom festival. The federal court has defined pornography as obscene, but gruesome images are not deemed obscene.
Ms. Cooper clarified that only event holders could restrict their participants; business owners could not restrict the public from displaying signage in front of their businesses.
Acting Mayor D’Alessandro requested staff continue to work with event holders to minimize this type of exposure to our children, specifically during family events.
ii.    Councilmember Bearnson noted the Charter had not been updated since 1998.
Motion:  Direct staff to initiate the process to update the Medford City Charter.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by:  Kay Brooks
Councilmember Stine requested examples of potential items for revision as Charter revisions required a vote of the people; Councilmember Bearnson suggested a small stipend or other benefit for City Councilors, include a specific process for filling a Council vacancy, and update any technology references.
Mr. Sjothun advised that staff could propose recommendations for Council review, including the creation of a review committee. A study session would be held to discuss preferences and gather feedback.  Any charter revisions could potentially be included in the election in May of 2020. 
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
iii.   Council Community Vision fund has been created. 
Motion:  Direct staff to establish the criteria, process, guidelines and restrictions for the newly formed Council goal fund and to bring that back for Council approval in July.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                               Seconded by:  Kay Brooks
Councilmember Stine voiced concerns about limiting future City Councils. Councilmember Bearnson clarified his intent is to begin a review process with Council, that any future City Council has the ability to create a Code change, but he preferred that account guidelines are codified to align the Code with the Council goals and strategies. 
Councilmember Stark questioned whether the intent was for staff to bring forward language to discuss at a future meeting; Councilmember Bearnson confirmed.
Roll call:  Councilmembers Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark and Stine voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
100.  City Manager and Staff Reports
         100.1   Further reports from City Manager
a.   Mr. Sjothun noted City Council training opportunities with the League of Oregon Cities in Bend September 26-28. There is funding for four members to attend this conference.  The second conference is the National League of Cities conference in San Antonio November 20-23.  There is funding for two members to attend that conference, but the deadline is June 30. He requested that Councilmembers interested in attending either of these conferences to advise the City Manager’s staff at their earliest convenience.  He also noted the travel policy was at Council places for review.
            110.  Adjournment
There being no further business, this Council meeting adjourned at 7:30 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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