'Recession extensions' go to city

The Ashland City Council will consider whether to grant "recession extensions" to developers who have secured building permits but who haven't begun construction because of the troubled economy.

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

In January, the Ashland Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend to the City Council that it approve the extensions. Developers would have another 18 months to begin construction, on top of 30 months already offered by the city of Ashland.

Between 35 and 40 projects could be eligible for extensions, according to city staff.

The City Council will also consider whether to stop the clock on the time that planning approvals are good for projects that are appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals or that are challenged in court. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council adopt that change.

Fireworks restrictions

On Tuesday night, the City Council will also consider restricting fireworks in Ashland.

Options include a year-round citywide ban on retail fireworks, or a permit system under which residents could use fireworks on the Fourth of July below Siskiyou Boulevard and North Main Street. To secure permits, residents would have to show they could provide a safe environment for using fireworks and would have to assume all responsibility for property damage or physical injury.

Other agenda items include considering whether to:

  • adopt council goals for 2010;
  • finalize new criteria for city Economic and Cultural Development Grants so that sustainability projects can be considered;
  • adopt a new allocation if city hotel tax revenue is higher than initial projections;
  • approve a supplemental agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and the Lomakatsi Restoration Project that would detail the city of Ashland's share of costs on the Forest Service's Ashland Forest Resiliency thinning and prescribed burning project;
  • and make changes to the classification of offenses in Ashland Municipal Court.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=12602.

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

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