Nolte to offer training for planning commission

Planning commissioners will receive training on public meeting rules and quasi-judicial matters from former Ashland City Attorney Paul Nolte, at an Ashland Planning Commission study session tonight at 7 in the council chambers at 1175 E. Main St.

As planning has become a political affair in Ashland, the rules for planning commission meetings have been called into question. Detractors assert public meeting rules and quasi-judicial roles have been violated, while others believe these rules have become the lynch pin in contesting controversial new development. Several planning commissioners have complained about the lack of adequate training they received after taking a seat on the commission.

Planning commissioners are considered to have "quasi-judicial" roles because they make findings of fact, either for approval or denial of new development projects, by weighing the proposed project against state and city land-use ordinances.

Nolte plans a 90-minute session.

The commission will also hear a brief update on the city's riparian ordinance. The ordinance, which would offer protections for streams, creeks and wetlands areas in the city limits, has been on the planning department's docket for at least two years.

"Staff will provide a brief presentation explaining efforts to date that have focused on the identification and classification of riparian areas and wetlands," reads a staff report.

The commission will also hear an update on what the state legislature is doing concerning Measure 37. A Southern Oregon University student will also give a presentation about Measure 37.

At a recent planning commission meeting, commissioner John Stromberg was elected chairman of the commission. Former chairman John Fields received two voted to continue as chair from commissioners Mike Morris and Pam Marsh.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x. 226 or .

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