City may buy old school, sell Clay Street lot

    Ashland City Council is expected to vote at its Tuesday meeting on several potential real estate transactions, including acquiring the Briscoe School property and selling the lot on Clay Street that has been promised to Housing Authority of Jackson County for an affordable housing project.

    The city has discussed the possibility of putting the new City Hall at the Briscoe School property, located on North Main Street. The location is under a conceptual design stage to further determine its strengths and weaknesses. Briscoe School, closed by Ashland School District in 2004 due to an estimated $3 million worth of deferred maintenance, currently houses the Oregon Child Development Center and Lithia Arts Guild.

    The council will also have a public hearing before voting on declaring three tax lots as surplus property, which would effectively allow the city to sell them. One of them is on Clay Street and has been in the headlines in recent weeks after a nonprofit proposed leasing it and buying an adjacent lot to build a tiny house project.

    The city also looks to dispose of a lot by the Colwell Chiropractic office on the corner east of North Main Street and north of West Hersey Street, and a lot on East Main Street that has been used as parking for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Springs Hotel and tenants of the building at 180 E. Main St.

    Staff will also report on the latest update on the city's Climate and Energy Action Plan. The council will also vote to choose a pool of finalists to replace Councilor Greg Lemhouse and discuss topics such as budget projection errors and the potential future for Uber and Lyft at its Tuesday meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.

    At the council's study session on Monday, March 5, staff will present options to revise plans at the Croman Mill District to increase the amount and type of housing currently allowed at that location.

    Police Chief Tighe O'Meara is also on the agenda to update the council on an ongoing issue with at least two business entities on Will Dodge Way "that demands a significant amount of the department's attention."

    The study session starts at 5:30 p.m.

    Both meetings will be at 1175 E. Main St. and be broadcast on RVTV.

    — Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.



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