Council to look at business license rules

The Ashland City Council will decide whether to adopt an ordinance that would allow the city government to revoke the business license of any company that fails to pay Ashland hotel taxes or meals taxes.

People who provide day care in their homes also could be required to pay for business licenses.

The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

A business could have its license denied or revoked if it fails to follow state or city laws, including requirements to pay Ashland taxes and follow zoning regulations.

In an effort to get more home-based businesses with one employee to apply for a business license, the city could change the application fee from up to $120 for the first two employees to $75 for the first employee.

The annual renewal fee would change from $75 for the first two employees to $50 for the first employee.

Ashland has an unknown number of home-based businesses, although many people believe that the number is high for a town of Ashland's size.

A person is carrying on a business if he or she is engaged in a profession or trade for profit or to earn a living. Landlords who rent out two or more units and independent contractors are included.

Individuals who work for a business that has a license do not have to get their own business licenses, nor do people who operate booths inside a licensed business. Farmers are exempt, as are youths under the age of 18, unless they have an incorporated business.

Also on Tuesday night, the City Council will decide whether to call up for review the Planning Commission's approval of a lodge-style restaurant next to Lithia Park.

On Jan. 11, the Planning Commission adopted findings approving a 10,632-square-foot restaurant with a basement and three above-ground levels.

The restaurant would be across from Lithia Park on Winburn Way, next to the seasonal Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink.

If the council calls the Planning Commission's approval of the project up for review, it could set a public hearing for Feb. 15 to take comments and consider the matter.

City staff have recommended that council members review the decision because it includes development on city-owned property, as well as on private land.

In other business, the council will consider whether to approve a contract for outside legal services that could exceed $50,000. The city has been without a city attorney since the resignation of Richard Appicello, who left in November, citing health reasons.

Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton remains on the job. She also has been without a full-time paralegal for the past few months.

The council will decide whether to apply for a $300,000 Safe Routes to School Grant, and whether to approve a telecommunications franchise for LS Networks.

Council members will hear an update on the creation of the Transportation System Plan.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=13714.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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