Ashland will not oppose proposed welcome center

Ashland's City Council won't ask county commissioners to deny a proposed rest area and welcome center outside town near Exit 14.

Council members Greg Lemhouse, Eric Navickas, Kate Jackson and Russ Silbiger voted against a motion Tuesday that the city send comments to county commissioners asking them to deny exceptions to state land use rules that are needed for the project to move forward.

Lemhouse said the city needs to be a partner with Jackson County and state government.

The rest area proposed by the Oregon Department of Transportation would be outside the city's urban growth boundary and on land that is under county jurisdiction.

Navickas cautioned that interfering with the county's land use process could get the city in legal trouble.

"To suddenly step in and try to stop this project could land the city in court," he said.

Council members had listened to dozens of residents speaking for and against the rest area and welcome center.

Neighbors in the area have voiced concerns about crime and livability.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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