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Agenda & Minutes

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City Council Meeting Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, July 02, 2020

July 2, 2020

6:00 P.M.
Medford City Hall, Council Chambers
411 W. 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*, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark*, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski (*left/arrived as noted)
City Manager Brian Sjothun; City Attorney Rick Whitlock; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
20.  Recognitions, Community Group Reports
         20.1     Employees from Parks and Police were recognized for their years of service. Although not in attendance, Mark Patterson, Police and Darlene Roberts, Finance, were recognized in their retirement.
30.  Oral Requests and Communications from the Audience
         30.1     Medford-Alba Sister Cities Day – July 2, 2020 – Mayor Wheeler presented a proclamation to the Alba Committee in honor of our 60th anniversary with our sister city Alba (Italy). Robin Snider stated we are looking forward to our on-line celebration later this year.
Councilmember Stark stated he will not be voting on 70.2 due to a conflict of interest.
         30.2    Scott Anderson, Board of Trustees for Cascade Christian, expressed concern with the temporary campground on the Greenway.
         30.3    Jennifer Akins, Medford, requested Council consider another location for the homeless campground due to homeless issues at their school.
         30.4    Lily Akins, Central Point, expressed concern with the homeless campground near Cascade Christian.
         30.5    Terry Roehl, Administrator at Grace Christian, expressed concern with the homeless campground location.
         30.6    Patricia Chesney, Medford, agreed with the previous speakers and stated there are students there now involved in sports. She also expressed concern with costs, and the image of the city.
         30.7    Daren Croy, Medford, stated there is 2300’ from the campground to the school. He requested Council look for another site.
         30.8    Jason Haley, Medford, supported what the other parents are saying about the issues with the homeless facility close to the school.
         30.9    Kinsy Dorner, Central Point, agreed with the previous speakers.
         30.10  Greg Fiannaca, Medford, agreed with the previous speakers.
         30.11   Donna Fiannaca, Medford, agreed with the previous speakers; it’s the location, not the project.
         30.12   Shannon Cannon, Jacksonville, agreed with the previous speakers and requested another location for the homeless facility.
         30.13   Kerstin Sachse, White City, expressed concern with drugs and a homeless facility close to the schools.
         30.14  Donnie Harper, Medford, stated he was homeless and received help from Rogue Retreat. Councilmember Bearnson thanked him for sharing his testimony.
         30.15   Shannon Holland, supported the temporary campground and received help from Rogue Retreat.
         30.16   Marci McComas, Medford, stated that she works at Rogue Retreat and noted their facility runs smoothly with no issues.
         30.17   Raile Fikes, Medford, supported the temporary campground.
         30.18  Jason Bull, Executive Director of Medford Gospel Mission, stated he lives ten houses from the Greenway and was for the camp.
         30.19   Hanna Farber, previously from California, and now living at the Kelly Shelter, remarked that whatever the Kelly Shelter is doing would be beneficial.
         30.20  Mike Wilkerson, Medford, stated he was in the program with Rogue Retreat and Kelly Shelter, was in the support of the project but understood the concerns of the parents who have students in the schools close to the Greenway.
         30.21   Robert Shelman, Central Point, was opposed to the homeless camp by Cascade Christian High School due to an increase in trash, drugs, and harmful acts.
         30.22  Carol Robbins, Medford, stated she lives at Aspen of the Creek and that they had a fire by their area last night. She suggested working with the City of Central Point to use the fairgrounds for a temporary campground.
         30.23  Wade Six, VI Commercial Real Estate, spoke about property owners on Chevy Way who have issues with crime. In reviewing the temporary campground document, the City has not reached out to Cascade Christian or the business owners in the area. He wanted to know funding sources and how does this contribute to the Homeless Action Plan. 
         30.24  Jessy Tindall, Medford, stated she is for the campground and mentioned the success with Hope Village.
         30.25  Kristan Hinkley, Medford, stated she lived at the Kelly Shelter and Hope Village and how positive the programs have been for her.
         30.26  Kristen Larson, Medford, stated she lives at Hope Village, and is learning how to cope with the barriers out there. She is for the temporary shelter.
         30.27  Torianu Butler, Medford, talked about the positive results of Hope Village.
         30.28  Angie LaValley, Medford, stated she supports the homeless temporary camp project, not the location.
         30.29  Meg Tinnin, Medford, requested Council approve 70.2.
         30.30  Rick Rawlins, Medford, also an employee of J.C. Mental Health, stated there is support from the social service agencies in Medford.
*Councilmember Stark left and returned.
         30.31   Jesse Sharp, Medford, supported the creation of the temporary campground.
Mayor Wheeler called a recess at 7:31 p.m.; the meeting resumed at 7:45 p.m.
with the same members present except Councilmembers Brooks and Poythress.
         30.32  Graham Trim, Medford, supported the proposed camp, regardless of where it is located.
*Councilmembers Brooks and Poythress returned.
         30.33  Clarence Carr, Medford, questioned why we don’t use the work program as you have all of your resources there.
         30.34  Nick Rementeria, Medford, expressed concern with the camp to criminalize homelessness (sweep).
         30.35  Sarah Abeshase, Talent, requested Council approve 70.2.
         30.36  Jerryck Murrey, Medford, requested Council approve 70.2 and open up the communication channel.
         30.37  Trish Castillo, Medford, stated she found herself homeless when she was 12 years old. She supported 70.2.
         30.38  Randi Vigil, Medford, spoke against the police sweeps.
         30.39  Don Bruland, Medford, supported 70.2.
         30.40 Trinity Shaw-Stewart, Medford, supported 70.2 and asked for the police sweeps to stop.
         30.41  Steven Essig, Medford, spoke about the Greenway sweeps and social media regarding them.
         30.42  Robin Lee, Medford, requested Council keep the camp away from children.
         30.43  Hayden Rosenaur, White City, expressed concern with the homeless camp next to the school and waterways where waste is not taken care of.        
         30.44 Justin Hon, Medford, stated he has attended a police outreach program and supported them and the campsite.   
         30.45  Julie Matthews, Ashland, stated she is a bike rider on the Greenway and spoke of guiding the temporary homeless camp cooperatively.
40.  Approval or Correction of the Minutes of the June 18, 2020 Regular Meeting and the June 25, 2020 Special Meeting
         There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as presented.
50.  Consent Calendar
         50.2    COUNCIL BILL 2020-89
An ordinance approving a contract in the amount of $148,695.00 with West Coast Pipeline for sanitary sewer replacements.
         50.3    COUNCIL BILL 2020-90
An ordinance designating a speed limit of 20 miles per hour on designated streets in the Liberty Park neighborhood.
Motion:  Adopt consent calendar.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                   Seconded by: Alex Poythress                                                                          
Roll call: Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Gordon, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.  Council Bills approved: #2020-89, 2020-90     
60.  Items Removed from Consent Calendar
Councilmember Bearnson talked about systemic problems and his concern on the amount of money spent on Greenway sweeps. He further stated the items are prioritized on the Action Plan.
         50.1     COUNCIL BILL 2020-88
                     A resolution adopting the Medford Homeless System Action Plan (HSAP) revised as of July 2020.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                             Seconded by:  Kay Brooks
Roll call: Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Gordon, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Ordinance #2020-88 was duly adopted.
Mayor Wheeler called a recess at 8:36 p.m.; the meeting resumed at 8:46 p.m.
with the same members present.
70.  Ordinances and Resolutions
       70.1     COUNCIL BILL 2020-91
                     An ordinance amending Section 6.200 of the Medford Municipal Code pertaining to the boundary of the Downtown Parking District.
MURA Executive Director Weiss presented the staff report. Councilmember Gordon questioned the financial implications for the City with respect to future public parking lots/decks. Weiss noted the original parking district imposed an assessment on businesses to pay for public off-street parking facilities. Starting in the early 1990s, MURA became the funding source for parking facilities, both inside the parking district and outside (Evergreen deck and lots, 8th & Holly). Currently there are no MURA funds allocated for parking facilities, and there is no assessment within the parking district. Expansion of the Parking District anticipates the need for alternative funding sources for future parking needs, and offers a new platform for building a sustainable parking program. The City Council will ultimately have to identify and implement a new funding source.
Councilmember Gordon asked about the impact of not requiring off-street parking for new development and the burden that may be placed on the public system. Weiss noted that removing the off-street parking requirement does not mean new development will not provide it, only that the City doesn’t mandate it. Market factors will inform developer decisions about how much parking to provide. If some parking demand shifts to the public system, that demand can be monetized by charging for it, and support the development of the parking system. Optimizing curbside parking in the right-of-way will increase parking inventory. Councilmember Bearnson noted as a former Parking Commissioner, we need an overall change to downtown parking. Poythress agreed.
Councilmember Zarosinski questioned the need to do this now vs. a broader study. Weiss noted the current off-street parking requirement is a regulatory impediment, and its removal provides an incentive for infill. Downtown Medford does not have a parking supply problem, it has a lack of high demand. High demand is a benchmark measure of a vibrant and successful Downtown. Stimulating development is the first step. Councilmember Stark noted we need development in Downtown to create a greater need to have an issue with this. Weiss noted we will always have a need for a balanced system of surface parking lots and decks. Early Downtown planning efforts projected upwards of seven parking garages, but we switched focus to surface lots which reduces infill development opportunities. Councilmember Gordon noted he didn’t think SOU and RCC would be downtown if it wasn’t for the City providing parking.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance.
Moved by:  Clay Bearnson                                             Seconded by:  Alex Poythress
Roll call: Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Gordon, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Ordinance #2020-91 was duly adopted.
         70.2    COUNCIL BILL 2020-92
                     A resolution designating a portion of the property identified with Assessor’s map and tax lot description of 372W13AA Tax Lot 103, near the corner of Biddle and Midway Roads in Medford, Oregon, as a temporary, transitional housing campground under the provisions of ORS 446.265.
*Councilmember Stark left the dais as he had a conflict.
                     Police Chief Clauson presented clarification on what was called the sweep. They did an Outreach and Recovery, which started at 10 a.m. and reached 70 homeless. They went out later for those that they couldn’t reach in the morning. Continuum of Care also attended. Garbage needed to be cleaned up as there were four months of accumulation. Rogue Retreat will be monitoring the program.
                     Almost $90,000 in funds were received to be able to assist with feeding the homeless, bathrooms, handwashing stations and social services. Meals were delivered and provided by the jail. The sheriff and Clauson are concerned with the potential of fires. There are current challenges due to COVID-19 and a shortage of jail capacity. There is difficulty delivering food to the homeless.
                     Deputy City Manager Madding stated ORS 446.265 prohibits this from going through a land use process. The City can limit the maximum amount of time. The campground would run from late July through September 30. The site is about .63 miles from Cascade Christian and would be leased in exchange for the cost of debris and vegetation removal. The sheriff has agreed to obtain volunteers to do this.
                     Clauson stated he is confident in Rogue Retreat and this would be by referral from the Livability Team. There will be a camp host every evening and continual supervision. He believed there would be 25 tents; COVID-19 funds are available.
                     Madding noted it is unusual for Police to be in charge of this, but Police has moved this along rather quickly with the partnerships Clauson has developed.
                     Whitlock noted he wanted to steer away from referencing a lease, it will be a real property use agreement.
                     Councilmember Brooks questioned what happens after the end of September; Clauson was unsure. Clauson noted they considered several properties, such as the fairgrounds, which needs to be used for fire suppression. This is a wide open space that can provide fencing. Showers will be given at another location. Whitlock stated any continuation of the agreement would need approval by the owner. Sjothun noted it can be tied to the State of Emergency.
                     Councilmember Zarosinski questioned these types of facilities by schools, such as Jackson School by Hope Village. Clauson stated he is not concerned with those in the supervised setting, but is with those still camping on the Greenway. He stated it is still illegal to camp on City property on the Greenway. Chad McComas, Executive Director, provided information on their current services offered, and services provided at this location will only be for those that are inside the campground. He stated they will be a good neighbor. This won’t be any different than the Kelly Shelter, although they will have their own things in their tents. They are not required to be clean and sober.
*Councilmember Bearnson left and returned.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance.
Moved by:  Kay Brooks                                                  Seconded by:  Kevin Stine
Councilmember Bearnson was concerned with future sweeps and with those who could not attend due to substance abuse. McComas noted there will be no drugs in the facility. Councilmember D’Alessandro noted it lacks public transportation, hence he will be voting no. Councilmember Poythress stated he had told someone that he would vote no on this, but he will be voting yes. He also stated as a Christian, we need to help those less fortunate. He stated the Police is taking a leadership role taking a step up.
Roll call: Bearnson, Brooks, Gordon, Poythress, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; D’Alessandro voting no; Stark abstained.
Ordinance #2020-92 was duly adopted.
Motion:  Continue the meeting until 11:00 p.m.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                   Seconded by: Alex Poythress 
Roll call: Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; Brooks and Gordon voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Mayor Wheeler called a recess at 10:10 p.m.; the meeting resumed at 10:16 p.m.
with the same members present except Councilmember Brooks.
*Councilmember Brooks arrived.

80.  Public Hearings
         80.1     COUNCIL BILL 2020-82 – CONTINUED FROM JUNE 18, 2020
                     An ordinance amending sections 9.560, 9.561, 10.732, and 10.839 of the Medford Municipal Code pertaining to electrified fences. (DCA-19-010) Land Use, Legislative; Planner: Carla Paladino,
                     Planner Carla Paladino presented the staff report. This will allow electric fences in the Community Commercial Zone.  Councilmember Zarosinski received a call from the applicant and questioned if this could be used next to a chain link fence. Paladino responded that the electrified fence can be used next to a chain link fence. She noted different materials may be needed for bufferyard fences or walls, depending on the requirements.
Public hearing opened.
Greg Lemhouse, United Strategies, noted this goes to the livability standards that are in the City. When you have a secure facility that increases the livability around it. It will enhance safety and security of the area. He thought that the section 5.4 bufferyard rules are not necessary as that is already addressed in section 4.4. If 5.4 remains, it seems a chain length fence already in place would have to be taken down.
Keith Kaneko, Amarok (Electric Guard Dog), which is a nationwide security system provider, noted this type of security system is used for those storing critical items outside in a yard. He noted warning signage must be posted. This is a defense system using medically safe pulse electricity. This system is not connected to the grid but powered by a battery. It is also a monitored alarm system and will call for service. It does not automatically call law enforcement.
Councilmember Bearnson questioned the bufferyard language and potential frequency of its application. Paladino stated we don’t have very many properties that would apply to Lemhouse’s concern. Councilmember Bearnson questioned an exception process for those who may have the concerns brought forth; City Attorney Whitlock noted that the land use exception process could be used.  Councilmember D’Alessandro questioned the solid buffer; Paladino noted the intention of 5.4 is to provide a visual and separation buffer between residential uses and the electrified fence; the bufferyard is there to provide separation from the neighbor to the electric fence. The buffer may not have been required at the time of development, but would be required under 5.4 if the electrified fence is installed. Councilmember Stine thought an exception could be applied and it could be worked out with the neighbor, if needed.
Kaneko noted the price for 1,000 linear feet is around $15,000 to $20,000 to install. The system is leased to the owner, typically a three year lease. Lemhouse noted this is a safe security system and it’s an unnecessary overkill to have to build a solid wall. Kaneko noted the 12” distance between fencing is an international regulatory requirement. He noted there would be a hardship to an owner loosing so much property to build another fence.
*Councilmember Gordon left.
Public hearing closed.
Public Works Director Brinkley requested five minutes to meet with the applicant to discuss changes to 5.4.
Motion:  Continue the meeting until 11:15 p.m.
Moved by:  Kevin Stine                                                   Seconded by: Tim D’Alessandro 
Roll call: Bearnson, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes; Brooks and Gordon voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Out of sequence.
90.  Council Business
       90.1     Proclamations issued:
                           Medford-Alba Sister Cities Day – July 2, 2020
                           Parks & Recreation Month – July 2020
                           Smart Irrigation Month – July 2020
         90.2    Committee Reports and Communications
                     a.   Council Officers Update
  • More notification to Council regarding Greenway sweeps
  • The Community Justice Court topic will be a discussion at a study session
  • Holly Theatre is about three million short of goals
  • Habitat for Humanity on 10th Street – process concerns
  • Face coverings – Council supportive of reading
                     b.   Site Plan and Architectural Commission Appointment
Will be voted on at the next meeting.
                     c.   Committee Reports and/or Communications
  • Councilmember Brooks questioned what will be our protocol be for those not wanting to wear a mask. Council agreed to not let them enter the building.
Back in sequence.
         80.1     COUNCIL BILL 2020-82 – CONTINUED FROM JUNE 18, 2020
         The proposal negotiated by staff and the applicant is to leave the first sentences of 5.4 as is, amend the second sentence to allow the solid fence or wall to be located at the property line, and to delete the last sentence.
Motion:  Approve the ordinance a) amending the second sentence of section 5.4 to read as follows: “When a bufferyard does not exist and is required under current code, the non-electrified fence or wall shall be of solid construction (e.g. wood, concrete, masonry block) and the minimum height shall be eight feet and can be located at the property line.”; and b) deleting the third sentence of section 5.4, which reads: In either case, the installation of the non-electrified perimeter fence and electrified fence shall be outside of the bufferyard and built in accordance with section 5.2.
Moved by: Clay Bearnson                                              Seconded by:  Tim D’Alessandro
Councilmember Brooks questioned if there will be a solid wall, Whitlock stated there would be. Whitlock noted the proposed changes had been reduced to writing on the original ordinance.
Roll call: Bearnson, Brooks, D’Alessandro, Poythress, Stark, Stine, and Zarosinski voting yes.
Ordinance #2020-82 was duly adopted.
100. City Manager and Staff Reports
110. Adjournment
         There being no further business, this Council meeting adjourned at 11:16 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.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
City Recorder

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