Croman plan back on city council agenda

The Ashland City Council may give the public more opportunity to comment on a proposed plan to develop the former Croman Mill site east of Tolman Creek Road.

The council will discuss the Croman plan during a meeting that begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

A new transportation analysis shows that using the existing Mistletoe Road, which runs through the Croman site, could be an option instead of building a new boulevard through the land.

The analysis wasn't yet out when the City Council took public testimony in April.

Mistletoe Road would have to be upgraded to accommodate development.

Two private property owners in the Croman area raised concerns that the proposed boulevard would cut through their land as well as an Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance yard. ODOT hasn't identified a place to move the maintenance yard.

The draft Croman redevelopment plan calls for creating an area for light industrial businesses, as well as offices, a park and other amenities.

Also Tuesday night, the City Council is scheduled to discuss a draft letter to the U.S. Forest Service that asks that the city be involved in any Mt. Ashland Ski Area expansion.

The draft letter states that the city would like the Forest Service to establish a coordination committee with representatives from the city, Forest Service and Mt. Ashland Association to discuss expansion implementation on an on-going basis.

The city would like the opportunity to review and comment on storm water system design, grading, clearing, revegetation plans, erosion control plans, watershed restoration projects and other aspects of an expansion, the draft letter states.

City representatives would also like to be able to visit the ski area during and after the expansion, the draft letter continues.

The expansion needs to be carried out carefully to avoid sending sediment down into Reeder Reservoir, which stores Ashland's water, according to the city's consultant, an ecologist with a nationwide engineering firm with expertise in watershed management.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality previously set a standard that no more sediment can flow into Reeder Reservoir than already does.

The draft letter also asks the Forest Service to state the amount of a bond the Mt. Ashland Association will have to post to cover the costs of mountain restoration if the ski area fails financially.

Back in 1992, that bond amount was listed at $200,000.

The draft letter asks for the full amount of the new bond to be posted before or at the time of the Forest Service authorizing the expansion project.

The letter also asks the Forest Service to consider potential impacts on the expansion from the economic recession that began in 2007.

The Forest Service's economic analysis of various expansion alternatives was done in 2004.

The letter would be sent as the Forest Service collects public comments until May 10 on a supplemental expansion analysis it had to prepare after a 2007 court ruling that its previous analysis was inadequate. The expansion has been on hold.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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