Commission to tackle Siskiyou condo complex

Should a proposed Siskiyou Boulevard condo complex be allowed to sidestep some city building requirements?

That's one of the questions the Planning Commission will tackle at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting at the Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

Steve Asher, who has built more than 100 homes in Ashland, hopes to construct 13 condos at 2300 Siskiyou Blvd., between Bellview Avenue and Clay Street.

But a handful of nearby residents who attended the commission's meeting last month said the neighborhood is already too crowded and they don't approve of Asher trying to dodge some city requirements, like the mandate to install standard sidewalks.

"We don't think it should be approved because the adverse impacts have not been minimized," said Carol Sunahara, who lives on Bellview Avenue and spoke at the meeting. "We feel there are potential hazards and there will be adverse impacts to the environment."

At the Nov. 12 meeting Asher said he wants to build a sustainable development and instead of installing standard city sidewalks, he wants to repair the existing black asphalt path and plant more trees around the walkway, for aesthetic reasons.

"In response to the neighbors," Asher said Friday, "none of their issues even have to do with (the plans). They just don't want it built. I'm trying to do a sustainable, eco-friendly, green, secure living arrangement for what I feel are the demographics of people that are moving into Ashland."

"I was born and raised in Ashland, so I'm not going to do anything that I don't want to drive by and see," said Asher, who added that he's been trying to get the project approved by the commission for more than two years.

Commissioners ran out of time at the last meeting and didn't have a chance to discuss the matter or hear from all locals wanting to speak on the project.

The commission is expected to vote on the issue at this week's meeting, said Derek Severson, the city's associate planner, who is working on the project.

A house, which is used as a medical office, sits on the Siskiyou Boulevard property now. The condo plans call for demolishing the existing structure and constructing five buildings around the perimeter of the property.

City staff is recommending the commission green-light nearly all aspects of the condo development plans, while requiring Asher to construct larger yard spaces and install standard sidewalks on the property.

"Overall, staff believe that the subject property presents a number of unique opportunities in that it is a relatively large prominent corner lot with well-established trees near Clay Creek and a future neighborhood park," the staff report states.

Also on the commission's Tuesday agenda is a proposal by Kerry Ken Cairn to create a new lot on Vista Street near Glenview Drive, where a home could eventually be built. The lot is not adjacent to a paved road and would be accessed from Glenview Drive.

Staff writer Hannah Guzik can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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