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Ashland property was cleared without permits

What is happening on the west side of North Mountain Avenue in Ashland across from North Mountain Park and north of the bridge over Bear Creek? The land has been cleared to the water’s edge. Why are they allowed to do this so close to the creek?

— Brice B., Ashland

The short answer to your question, Brice, is the property owner had been clearing vegetation without getting the proper permits.

According to the city of Ashland, the property owner cleared the vegetation out of concern for fire.

Since Bear Creek is considered a fish-bearing stream, the owner was told to cease all work until a natural resource professional was hired to determine the best way to finish the work and determine what native species should be planted along the creek.

The city stopped short of issuing any citations or fines and is hoping to work with the property owner.

Mostly blackberry bushes were removed, and many of the trees along the bank were preserved. Hay was thrown down along the creek to help with erosion.

The six-acre property, at 755 N. Mountain Ave., has been cleared out over the past few years, and plans are in the works to build a house on the property. An old, boarded-up house is currently located on the land.

The city hopes to eventually work with the property owner to continue building a trail and park system that would connect neighboring Kestrel Park to North Mountain Park.

The owner of this property had earlier submitted a reapplication plan for a subdivision, but a house is the only structure currently in the works for the property.

Also, across the street, an undeveloped property along Nepenthe Road is slated to get three new houses. Along with this development are plans to extend North Mountain Park to the north across the creek.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.