With the recession putting a damper on construction, the Ashland City Council will consider whether to give 18-month extensions to all development approvals in town.
That could help keep approvals on projects from expiring before projects can be built. The projects have already gone through the regular planning process.
The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.
Proposed ordinance language notes that the economic downtown has caused a severe slowdown in all aspects of land development and building activity since early 2006.
The ordinance states that "while financing for new development and building activity is constrained, it is important to the continuing economic health of the community to extend the validity of existing development approvals so that such developments may more readily attain a shovel-ready status contributing to economic recovery."
The proposed ordinance would have to be reviewed by the Ashland Planning Commission, with public notice also required to allow people to offer input on the idea.
Other communities, including Grants Pass, have also floated the idea to extend development approvals.
City of Ashland officials will additionally consider whether to allow the adjustment of approval dates of development projects that get appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals or Circuit Court. The local approval date would be adjusted after all appeals or remands are complete.
Ashland's Land Use Ordinance currently doesn't allow for the adjustment of an approval date if a development project is appealed.
"Appeals can often take years, and without a tolling provision, an applicant's approval can expire even if the applicant prevails in Court," city staff said in a memo to councilors. "This is both unfair to an applicant who has followed the process and an inefficient use of resources if a new application for the identical project has to be processed."
Among other agenda items Tuesday night, the council is scheduled to consider whether to:
For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit http://ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=12086.
Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.