BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
December 14, 2005
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Anna Morrison was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
16. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-14-16 Commenting to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on Countywide Modernization Project Priorities for the 2008-2011 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, reported a notice letter was sent out dated December 1 for this hearing, to establish the countywide preliminary modernization priorities for the 2008/2011 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. He also sent out an e-mail notice on December 2 to the interested parties and a staff list that had the notice letter, proposed draft order, and list of projects attached. He noted that Region 2 of ODOT had requested modernization project priorities from the Board prior to the end of December. He said the schedule calls for Region 2 to send out a combined list for comment in February. He said the Board will be asked to comment back on that list by April. He added there will be an all area meeting for Region 2 in Salem in June related to Region 2 projects, and in the fall ODOT will publish the draft STIP for the whole state and comment period for next fall. He said the state will adopt the STIP in 2007. He said the Roads Advisory Committee met on November 30 and recommended that the Board forward the priorities as shown in the order. He noted that the Metro Area Citizen Advisory Committee was scheduled to consider the Metro Area projects on December 7, but that meeting was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. He said the Metropolitan Policy Committee had a discussion on the STIP priorities on December 8 but the committee was unable to reach agreement on whether the West Eugene Parkway should be on the list and that MPC took no positive action on STIP priorities at that meeting. He stated there is $51 million available statewide for modernization funding in the STIP and that Lane County could expect to obtain a few projects around $3 or $4 million per year for 2010 and 2011.
Stinchfield commented that due to the small funding available, all the projects on the list already have some amount of STIP funding approved. He said their strategy is to find projects where they could add small amounts of funding to the project. He said one project is the Beltline-Coburg Road interchange, a project funded in the 06/09 STIP at $4.4 million, where the amount of funding might not be adequate to get the project to contract. He said they would be working with ODOT to identify an increment that might be added to that project. He noted the Beltline I-5 project is funded and will be going to contract next winter for $72.5 million, and they might find a small increment that could be added to that project. He added that the I-5 Coburg interchange is also on the list and it has about $14.5 million identified including county, state and federal funding. He noted that the $20 million figure he estimated was the amount identified in the long-range plan and more work will be needed before they have a firm estimate.
With regard to the West Eugene Parkway, Stinchfield said the project is scheduled for a record of decision in Spring 2006. He said that ODOT is attempting to submit a record of decision to the Federal Highway Administration by December 2006. He thought the most likely increment that could be added to the West Eugene Parkway could be funding on unit 1 on the east end of the project. He said that ODOT had funded $17.7 million for Unit 1 a), the section between Beltline and Seneca Road. He stated the most likely addition would be between the area of Seneca and Highway 99. He said the Beltline study is on the list from River Road to Coburg and $1 million had been funded by ODOT. He added that ODOT told him that they might need another $1.5 million to fully fund the process in 2009. He noted the Delta Beltline project with County funding of $8 million is a related project, and that the Highway 126 Potter Creek to Noti project has $500,000 in development money identified in the adopted STIP. He said they expect there might be $400,000 added in the passing lane project on Highway 126 and thought there might need to be an increment added to the project before they get to a development milestone for this project.
Stinchfield recalled that the second item on the Region 2 large project letter is scheduled for action after this hearing and is not scheduled for a public hearing. He noted it was a related matter. He asked the Board to adopt the order with the project list as modified. He said the state has asked for comment by the end of the calendar year.
Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.
Larry Reed, Land Use Planner, Eugene, supported the five metro area projects and the one Highway 126 listed in Exhibit A of the proposed County order. For health and safety for the Lane County residents, he urged the Board to adopt the order in Exhibit A. He urged the Board to keep the West Eugene Parkway on the list.
Gary Wildish, Eugene, stated he had been involved with the STIP for many years and encouraged the Board to approve the list as it is presented. He indicated that he was on the original committee for the West Eugene Parkway. He said they need to recognize that a well-planned transportation system is important to the community. He commented that the resources the government gets in taxes and other revenues depend on the viability of the economy. He thought the transportation plan was a move in the right direction and urged the Board to push it forward.
Terry Connelly, Chamber of Commerce, Eugene, said his organization was supportive of the projects that are included on the STIP list. He said each project was important on its own merit. He said they have to have a viable transportation system that is important for the efficient safe movement of goods and services to support the economy. He said they continue to be a supporter of the West Eugene Parkway and encouraged the Board to be supportive.
Rob Handy, Eugene, stated he attended the MPC meeting about Mayor Piercy’s proposal for a collaborative process. He thought the Board should be involved with the collaborative process.
Jim Hanks, Eugene, supported the staff recommended list. He supported the West Eugene Parkway, as the need is there.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-12-14-16 as submitted.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
b. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 05-12-14-17/In the Matter of Commenting to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on the Region 2 Large Project Strategy and Priority List Dated October 28, 2005.
Stinchfield indicated this was a follow-up item to the Board’s action of September 21 to forward projects to Region 2 for the large project list. He noted after that action was taken, Commissioners Green and Stewart attended an all area meeting in Salem to discuss the projects in Region 2. He stated at the end of October, the Region 2 manager put out a proposal for comment to all of the areas in Region 2 and included a series of I-5 projects. He said the I-5 Beltline interchange and the I-5 Coburg interchange were on that list and the West Eugene Parkway is on the regional list. He said they discussed the West Eugene Parkway and the need to reach a record of decision. He said the materials state that is still the objective and if that does not occur, then the project might be removed from the list. He said their letter of comment is to thank them for the two I-5 projects in Lane County and the West Eugene Parkway. He said they had prepared materials on the Highway 126 Potters Creek to Noti project as a candidate to be on the list, but it did not make the cut. He said the letter asked for the 126 project to be added to list A. He said if the Board approves the letter, he will get one back to the Board and would change the signature block to Dwyer’s signature.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-12-14-17.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
c. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1227/In the Matter of Amending the Junction City Comprehensive Plan to Adopt Exceptions to Statewide Planning Goals 3 And 14 Pursuant to Goal 2 and Modify the Urban Growth Boundary to Include an Additional 74.26 Acres of Land Currently Within the City Limits; and Adopting a Severability Clause (File No. PA 05-5132; Country Coach, Inc.). (NBA & PM 11/30/05).
Stephanie Schulz, Land Management, explained that this is a proposal for amendment to the Junction City urban growth boundary to provide for expansion of the Country Coach Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing Company. She noted the proposal includes a conversion of agriculture lands to urban industrial uses. The proposal was first heard at a joint public hearing on May 3 with the Junction City and Lane County Planning Commissions. She said the Junction City Planning Commission then deliberated and provided a recommendation for support to the Junction City Council on September 13. She noted the city council adopted Ordinance No. 1147 in support of expanding the urban growth boundary. She said part of that ordinance contained conditions that addressed the concerns raised at the planning commission level regarding wetlands, storm waters and traffic impacts to the neighborhood and surrounding community. She noted there were findings in support that show the criteria had been met. She noted the basic criteria for the proposal would be consistent with the statewide planning goals and the requirement that the action is not consistent with the applicable comprehensive plan, that is the Junction City Comprehensive Plan. She distributed additional material that was provided by the applicant. (Copy in file.)
Schulz indicated the first memo is a response letter from the applicant addressing concerns raised at their Lane County Planning Commission. She said there were concerns for traffic impacts to the surrounding roads and neighborhoods and air pollution discharges generated from the process. She added it showed that the company, in order to convert from farmland to urban uses, storm water runoff and the city's ability to enforce city ordinance conditions had not adequately demonstrated additional land. She said they have supplemental findings of fact to submit and include with the ordinance showing consistency with the Rural Comprehensive Plan criteria that is applicable to an urban growth boundary expansion.
Green asked why the Lane County Planning Commission voted against this.
Schulz said it was tied to the issues with traffic impacts, air pollution and storm water runoff.
Sorenson asked what the Planning Commission votes were.
Schulz responded that the vote was 5-3 to deny the proposal to expand the urban growth boundary. She said it had to do with the language of the motion as it was originally stated and developed at the Lane County Planning Commission. She said it was a recommendation to not approve the proposal that is an implication of denial, but not a direct statement. She stated that the Planning Commission revisited the issue and developed the motion that was a direct statement.
Dwyer opened the Public Hearing. He indicated they would not deliberate and they would keep the record open. He said this is subject to the plan amendment rezoning criteria sited in the agenda cover memo. He stated that evidence and testimony must be directed toward the approval criteria and failure to raise an issue to enable a response may preclude an appeal to LUBA. He noted this was opportunity for those present to enter information into the record. He said that only persons who qualify as a party may appeal a board decision to LUBA.
Dwyer asked if there were any ex parte contacts.
There were none.
Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.
Paul Vaughn, Eugene, stated he represented the applicant, Country Coach. He explained County Coach seeks to expand the existing factory campus to a 74-acre parcel that is adjacent to its current campus. He noted the property is within the incorporated city limits of Junction City. He said it is zoned by Junction City. He noted the property is currently outside of the urban growth boundary already approved by the City of Junction City. He stated that the Junction City Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and urban growth boundary expansion. He noted the city council held another hearing and after that hearing and deliberation, all members of the city council voted unanimously to approve it.
Vaughn explained that the first section of their application describes the property and summarizes the reasons for Country Coach’s need for the adjacent property. He commented that since Country Coach’s inception, it has shown a steady growth over the years. He said Country Coach started in 1973 with two employees. He said by 1988 the company had grown to 300 employees with factory and corporate offices in Junction City occupying about 100,000 square feet of enclosed space. He added that by 1996, the company had added another 215,000 of manufacturing space, over 25,000 of square feet of office and service space and employment had grown to 580 employees. He noted at the end of last year, Country Coach’s employment had nearly tripled from 1996 to 1,632 active full-time employees. He said the company is successful and growing but it is constrained on the property they are on.
Vaughn said the reason the 17-˝ acres on the property had not been developed yet was that after it was added to the urban growth boundary, there was a downturn in the economy and demand for the product. He said it was put on hold. He indicated that Country Coach now has new management and had growth over the past two years. He said they want to know if they make an investment that they are going to be able to continue to grow based on their needs without having to relocate somewhere else.
Vaughn indicated that another consideration that goes into the criteria is an ESEE analysis. He said if they do it for the site that has been selected versus another site around the city that would also require a goal exception. He said he had done that in the application. He said the impact is the same regardless of whether they were to find another site along the urban growth boundary. With regard to the economic impact, the Country Coach payroll for 2004 was $43 million. He added the Oregon payroll withholdings were $2,250,000. He added property tax was $258,000. He noted the amount of money that goes into the community is nearly $50 million. He added that the company purchases over $10 million of goods in Junction City and Eugene area purchases were over $40 million.
Vaughn said he submitted a letter to the Board last Monday. He said he reviewed the minutes and summarized what was a principle concern the Lane County Planning Commission had expressed that led to its 5-3 vote to recommend to the Board of Commissioners not to approve this. He noted the Planning Commission meetings were held in May. He said in the interim the record was left open and the Junction City Planning Commission made a recommendation to their city council that held another hearing. He said the Junction City Planning Commission expressed the same concerns as the Lane County Planning Commission. He noted those concerns were addressed with additional evidence and testimony and things put into the record before the city council. The Lane County Planning Commission’s record was closed and they didn’t have the benefit of additional information. He indicated that one concern was traffic impacts. He said at the time of the Planning Commission hearings, the proposed mitigation measures make the traffic work within the Transportation Planning Rule and those were being debated between ODOT, County staff and the applicant. He noted that the Lane County Planning Commission didn’t have that information. He said the Lane County Planning Commission had concerns with air discharges.
Vaughn explained that the Lane County Planning Commission was concerned with the conversion of farmland to a non-farm use, consistent with state law. He said the state wanted to make it tough to do this, but if they go through the requirements and satisfy them, the conversation could take place.
Vaughn indicated that they had a concern with storm water. He said there was a letter from the mayor that storm water could be mitigated. He said it will be handled on site.
Jim Hanks, Eugene, explained they came up with a scope for every signalized intersection on Highway 99 from 18th Avenue in Junction City to the Beltline interchange. He said they took traffic counts from early in the morning to late at night to find out the traffic characteristics. He commented that Eugene was the bedroom community for Junction City and not the other way around, adding that Junction City is a job center in the county. He said they evaluated years 2005 and 2020 and found four locations to fail in the peak hours: Sixth Avenue and 99, First Avenue, River Road and 99, Clearlake and 99, and Beacon and River Road. He said they could make major improvements or they could develop transportation demand management techniques to reduce the traffic flow in those areas. He said it reduces the total vehicle miles traveled and makes better use of the transportation facility and gives longer life to all the facilities in the area. He noted the key to the transportation demand management strategy is that there will be no shift change at the facility between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. He indicated that it allows Junction City to do what it wants. He said it keeps the peak traffic down.
Hanks said when they went to the Planning Commission, the County staff was worried because there is an existing site. He said they came up with a condition of approval that Country Coach will not have any shift change at the existing facility within a half an hour of the facility.
Hanks commented that his analysis supports the Country Coach urban growth boundary expansion as it shows that all applicable state and local requirements are met with the conditions of approval as proposed and adopted by the Junction City Council. He added that the state, county and Junction City staff supported his conclusions.
Jay Howard, Junction City, said he had been with the firm for 2 ˝ years. He noted when he got there they had 800 employees and they now have 1,700 employees and are at 99.99% capacity. He said there is demand for the product and because the components are large, it is important to plan for the future in a contiguous location. He said the additional 74 acres would allow them to double the size of their company within twenty years. He added they have no intention of doubling it in a short period of time. He indicated that it would allow them to create another 1,700 jobs in the process. He noted many of those jobs were over $50,000 per year.
Sandra Belson, City Planner, Junction City, indicated that this could not be appealed to LUBA as it involves an expansion of over 50 acres for the urban growth boundary. She said it would need to go to DLCD and LCDC for approval. She noted that there were concerns Junction City dealt with. She said one was air quality. She said that Junction City has a Comprehensive Plan that has been acknowledged by DLCD. She said it recognizes LRAPA as the authority for air quality in the area. She said they have a policy in their Comp Plan that requires that all industry show evidence of compliance prior to the city being able to issue a building permit. She noted that their Planning Commission received a letter from LRAPA explaining their process. She added the Planning Commission reviewed Country Coach’s current discharge permit. She indicated that they thought the permit that had been submitted for expansion would be examined by LRAPA for concerns of air quality better than Junction City would have the expertise to do. She said their Planning Commission was comfortable with leaving air quality issues with LRAPA.
Belson explained another issue that came up was about a site-specific design with how the plant would actually lay out on the property. She said they got their attorney involved to make sure the site plan review requirements would apply to expansion of the facility. She said during the site plan review there will be another opportunity for public comment to specifically address the location.
Belson indicated that the most difficult issue to get to consensus was transportation. She said at the time of the Planning Commission decision, they had not yet reached agreement with the applicant. She said they did reach agreement with the condition of approval by city, county and ODOT staff. She indicated that Country Coach said they would be willing to abide by it. She said they were satisfied with the reliance on the transportation demand management measures.
Belson noted they required an 80-foot manufacturing setback from the north property line because there are some residences on the north side of First and they wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be any manufacturing up to the road that could affect the residences. She added that there are wetlands on the property that had been delineated. She said they are requiring that the southwest swale be preserved and that mitigation for other wetlands occur in the southern part of the property. She added that it would serve as a buffer to the south. With regard to a buffer to the east, she said they are not allowing any building within the eastern 80 feet of the property and along the southerly 200 feet of the expansion area. She said they are requiring that it be planted with fast growing trees. She said it would allow them in the future to possibly build a street.
Jack Roberts, Eugene, stated he had been working with Country Coach. He commented that this is the type of infill development they want and need. He said this is what the land use system was supposed to encourage. He urged the Board to close the record and to schedule it to go forward as soon as possible.
Jerry Szerlip, Junction City, urged the Board to deny the proposed land use change for Country Coach. He said the Lane County Planning Commission voted to deny the expansion of the urban growth boundary. He recalled that their concerns were about the air quality, floodwater runoff, traffic and changing farmland to industrial use. He asked why they needed more farmland for an expansion that had never started. He commented that LRAPA had never conducted a test to see if Country Coach had contaminated their workers, air, water, land or the people of Junction City. He noted that independent chemical analysis showed that Country Coach had contaminated the land with styrene.
Al Williams, Junction City, stated he lives directly across the street from the proposed property. He said the traffic is bad from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. He said there are no traffic controls and it is difficult.
Steve Dignam, Creswell, believed the evidence and the facts overwhelming support the decision in favor of the application. He believed that Country Coach has shown how they provide good employment opportunities. He noted there are four points under Goal 2 for land use planning that have to be met in order to expand an urban growth boundary. He said that forms the basis of the Board’s decision of the urban growth boundary expansion. He believed the applicant had met all four of those points. He urged the Board to review Goal 9, Goal 6, Goal 13 and Goal 2 to conclude that the applicant had met the burden of proof and the facts and evidence support the application.
John Sullivan, Vida, commented that the County has the responsibility to work on the economy of the state as it pertains to cooperating and participating with efforts and programs to promote economic development. He stated the salaries and spendable dollars would be $1 billion minimum over the next ten years. He thought it was important for the company to be able to expand.
Lauri Segel, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Eugene, requested that the record remain open for a week to allow opportunity to comment on the new additions. She said they are opposed because the original urban growth boundary expansion had not been realized in the expansion so far and the current request for additional 74 ˝ acres is more area than is needed for the expansion. She commented that the County and City of Junction City didn’t work together to plan for adequate infrastructure on the state highway system to accommodate future plans for growth.
Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing and left the record open until January 11, at 9:00 a.m., when they will deliberate this item. He commented they were keeping the record open until January 3.
Vorhes recommended keeping the record open for a couple of weeks. He then suggested giving a one-week response period, giving the applicant a one-week rebuttal period of argument only.
Dwyer said they would keep the record open until December 21, 2005.
MOTION: to approve a Second Reading and setting a Third Reading and Deliberation and leaving the record open to January 11, 2006 for Ordinance No. PA 1227.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
d. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-14-18/In the Matter of Considering a Ballot Measure 37 Claim and Deciding Whether to Modify, Remove or Not Apply Restrictive Land Use Regulations in Lieu of Providing Just Compensation (PA 05-5986, Davidson Industries, Inc.).
Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled that the Board offered the opportunity of providing the applicant the chance to suspend the timeline for Measure 37 claims to Davidson Industries. He indicated that they have signed the waiver and agree to postpone the claim until after the Supreme Court decision is made.
e. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-14-19/In the Matter of Considering a Ballot Measure 37 Claim and Deciding Whether to Modify, Remove or Not Apply Restrictive Land Use Regulations in Lieu of Providing Just Compensation (PA 05-5987, Bill Powell).
Howe indicated that they have communicated the same offer to waive the timelines to Powell. Howe said that Powell had received a copy of the agreement but he wanted to proceed. He added that Powell would still have to go to the state to get a waiver.
Howe explained that the property is located in Upper Camp Creek and is designated F1, not impacted forestland. He noted it is about 4 ˝ acres in size. He said that Powell wants to be able to place a dwelling on the property. Howe said Powell acquired the property in 1982 and at that time it was zoned F2, impacted forestland. He recalled that in 1982 a special use permit would have been required in order to have allowed a dwelling on that property. He said what would have been required at the time would have been related to having a forest management plan. He added the other option was for a non-forest dwelling and those provisions dealt with limiting existing forestry and that it wouldn’t be detrimental to the surrounding forest and farm uses. He said it wouldn’t alter the overall stability of the land use pattern of the area. He indicated those were discretionary types of considerations.
Howe noted that Powell had provided an appraisal. He said the appraisal assumes that right would allow the dwelling. He said the Board needs to determine that because it is a discretionary process; whether or not a dwelling could be allowed on the property.
Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.
Bill Powell, Eugene, believed the Board should grant the waiver. He noted that it is a 4.43 acre property. He said it is divided by two creeks and is not suitable for either forestry or agriculture. He stated that it has a road frontage on a paved road on Camp Creek Road and bounded on either side by residences. He said that under an F2 designation, he could meet the template test to show there are more than three residences within a 60-acre area. He recalled that 20 years ago prior to purchasing the property, he contacted the County to determine if he could build a residence on the property when he retired. He said prior to purchasing the property, there was a septic site approval done on the property. He indicated there was a question about legal division of the property prior to his purchasing the property and well tests were done. He said the purchase price of the property was about $10,000 per acre and it was recently done as forestland, valued less than $1,000 per acre. He added if they were able to build on the property, the land was worth $85,000. He believed it is a piece of property not adequate for agriculture. He said it meets all the criteria for rural residents.
Howe recalled that in 1982 the template test was not available .
There being no one else signed to speak, Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.
Dwyer thought if someone bought land where they thought they could expect to develop into one-acre lots, then the government should allow it. He noted the property was bought at the time when he might have been allowed to put a dwelling. He thought this was a case where the property owner was negatively impacted.
MOTION: to move restriction of 05-12-14-19.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
17. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Dwyer announced that they would be donating turkeys at the 40th and Donald Safeway for the people of Lane County.
18. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
19. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 3:50 p.m.