Commission to address water resources protection

The Ashland Planning Commission will hold public meetings on April 22 and May 13 regarding an ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code, Ashland Land Use Ordinance to include Chapter 18.63 Water Resources Protection Zones. Both meetings will be held at 7 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St. The meetings will be broadcast live on RVTV channel 9.

The purpose of the public workshop on April 22 is to provide an overview of and answer questions regarding the proposed Chapter 18.63 Water Resources Protection Zones. The purpose of the public hearing on May 13 is to take public testimony and for the Planning Commission to discuss and deliberate on the proposed Chapter 18.63 Water Resources Protection Zones Ordinance.

The proposed ordinance applies to properties containing a water resource (streams and wetlands), a water resource protection zone (buffer area), or both. The Water Resource Protection Zone is a buffer area measured horizontally from the edge of a stream or wetland. The width of the required protection zone depends on the type of the stream or wetland. Generally, the proposed ordinance limits and in some cases prohibits new activities and development in the Water Resource Protection Zones.

The City of Ashland is proposing the ordinance to keep the City in compliance with Statewide Planning Goal 5, which requires local communities to inventory their water resources and adopt land-use protections. The ordinance would also aim to protecting the community's water resources, to provide consistency between the Ashland Comprehensive Plan and Ashland Land Use Ordinance and to protect riparian habitat as part of the City's stormwater management plan.

The proposed ordinance is available online at /waterresources, and at the City of Ashland Department of Community Development located at 51 Winburn Way. For more information, call 488-5305.

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