BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

December 7, 2005

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 5/31/06

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.  Anna Morrison was excused.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

17. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-7-6/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 (PA05-5892, Lance Winger).

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, announced to the claimants that the Board of Commissioners decided this morning to provide them with the opportunity to sign an agreement that would waive the timelines for processing Measure 37 claims.  He said it would keep the claim in line as far as processing goes depending on what happens with the Supreme Court decision.  He added that it allows not going through the expense of providing the information that is necessary for the County to process the claim.

 

Dwyer commented that any action by the Board is subject to state rules and the court process.

 

Howe indicated the property is near Springfield, north of Mt. Pisgah, a vacant six-acre property currently zoned exclusive farm use.  He recalled the parents acquired the property in 1974.  He stated the applicant acquired the property in 1981 and at that time it was zoned AGT.  He said the applicant desires six one-acre lots with dwellings and the appraisal information they provided shows a reduction in value of $630,000.  He indicated in 1981, the AGT zone required a 20-acre minimum and the result of the action today in waiving the land use regulations to those in effect in 1981 is to allow one dwelling on the property.  He noted there wouldn’t be an ability to do what the applicant desires.   He added the applicant would still have to obtain a state waiver before they could proceed with any land use development from the County.

 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

 

Eugene Muir, Eugene, asked about the septic tank zoning in that area.  He wanted to know what the rules and regulations were.  He said he lives south of the property in question and he hadn’t been able to find out.

 

Howe said he would take Muir downstairs to Land Management for information.

 

Hugh Hiller, Springfield, said he was neutral as to the situation of the subject property.  He was also interested in the subsurface drainage.

 

Lance Winger, Springfield, stated his family has farmed this land for 43 years and he had sole ownership for 25 years.  He said the character of the area is urbanized.  He said his six acres is reached by driving through a development and has 15 homes adjoining it.  He said all three options of the Region 2050 Plan include his land in the urban growth boundary.  He preferred rural living but realized this property is his retirement.  He recalled his parents divided part of the land and that was responsible for the five homes. He said that Measure 37 gives him the chance to be in the process.  He commented that the farm will continue to function as it is.

 

Ron Funke, Custom Planning Service, Eugene, said he has a professional and ethical obligation only to take cases where it furthers good planning.  He thought the Winger’s case was an example of good forward planning.  He said they went to the City of Springfield to see if the urban growth boundary could accommodate his 6.18 acres.  He said there is no method in the Metro Plan to do a bleep adjustment to the urban growth boundary.  He said Springfield was interested in extending the urban growth boundary through this property and along south and east Springfield.  He said it wouldn’t happen within the timeframe Winger is asking for. Winger proposed six houses on an acre parcel situated such a fashion that the pending future urbanization of the land would not be hindered on how the houses were placed.  Funke commented that Measure 37 produces two classes of claimants, one who were the original owners and had the land use regulations at the time they purchased the property restored to them and to the descendants of the original claimants.  He thought there was a potential legal issue in terms of how claimants are treated.  He wasn’t interested in pursuing that.  He wanted the Board to consider giving the opportunity to develop the six acres in the way Winger proposed or they would ask the Board to consider if he is only allowed to build a single house on the property, that Winger be allowed to separate off one acre, build a new house for himself and his wife on that one acre and allow the 5.188 acres to remain in farm deferral so he could more economically continue farming the rest of the land while the whole urban development process is determined.  He said there was an appraisal in the file to create six one-acre parcels.

 

Green asked how the E-25 regulation reduced the fair market value of the property.

 

Funke responded that the regulation that was in effect previous to April 8, 1981 did not have the 25-acre minimum; it was based upon the soil classification.  He said the intent at the time was to retain the highly productive soils in larger, more economical blocks.  He indicated it already had legal lot status.  He said Winger is trying to adjust to today’s situation that anticipates tomorrow’s use of the land that is urbanizable land.

 

Sorenson asked what the economic impact is in the loss of value to the property owner for the impact of the land use decision.

 

Funke said the appraisal was based on the assumption that they could put six parcels there.  He said they were looking at a difference of $630,000.  He said the property now is $30,000 and that is lower than what it is on the tax roll for. He indicated that it is in a farm deferral.

 

Sorenson asked if there was a separate zoning versus other changes.

 

Funke said Winger could have (under the old code) built six houses on the same parcel of land.  He added it would be allowed subject to sanitation and other health and safety requirements.  He noted the economic value that isn’t addressed is the value of the 6.18 acres as farmland.

 

Sorenson asked what evidence was put in the record that establishes that it was the zoning that caused a decline in the value of the property.

 

Funke said if Winger were able to develop his property as his father could have under the existing regulations at the time, he would be able to build between one and six houses.  He said currently he cannot build any houses.  He commented that using the parcel as a farm is marginal.

 

Vorhes explained that Funke was advocating for the Board to do more than what Measure 37 allows.  He said for purposes of compensation, they compare under the restrictive land use regulation now and look at what the earliest family member could do with the property to discuss the value reduction.  He said because this seems to establish some entitlement to compensation under Measure 37, one of the Board’s options is to waive the current restrictive regulations that now have a 25 acre minimum lot size and have certain limitations on the placement of a dwelling on the ground.  He added the Board could allow the current owner, not the earliest family owner, to use the property in the fashion that it was allowed under the regulations that were in effect when that owner acquired the property.    He recalled the AGT zone would limit the minimum lot size to 20 acres for the parcel.  He said it doesn’t allow for further division of the smaller parcel, but it could allow for a placement of a dwelling on the parcel under those regulations, if they would have allowed another dwelling on the parcel.  He said there is reference in the order for allowing an application for division in a dwelling.  He said those would limit the ability to divide. He said it is confusing because of Measure 37 language.  He said for compensation purposes, for the Board to look all the way to the earliest family member to do the measurement of reduction of value.  He said it gets to the analysis of what might have been possible when the earliest family member acquired this property.   He said for purposes of waiver, it is clear that the waiver goes only to allow the current owner to use the property in the manner that the current owner could when he acquired the property.  He indicated in his reading of Measure 37, the limitations on the waiver authority end at what regulations were in effect at the time the current owner owned the property.

 

Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.

 

Howe noted the property was originally zoned AGT in 1952, prior to the Wingers ever purchasing the property.  He said the father purchased the property in 1974 and the current owner acquired the property in 1981.  He noted the AGT zone was in effect in 1981 when the current owner acquired the property and the land division was for when the property was originally zoned AGT.  He said this has to meet the division standards based on 20 acres if it is high quality soils of class 2 because the property was originally zoned AGT in 1952. He said that is what locks him into the land division provisions that were in effect when the current owner acquired the property.  He indicated they couldn’t divide this property smaller than 20 acres to minimize parcelization.  He noted the desire of the applicant is for six one-acre parcels.

 

Vorhes explained that the dwelling requirements of the zone have changed.  He said the dwelling requirement in the AGT zone that were in place in 1981 (when the current owner acquired the property) is different than the dwelling requirements of the current EFU zone.

 

MOTION: to remove the land use restrictions back to the April 21, 1981 date, allowing one dwelling for ORDER 05-12-7-6.

 

Stewart MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Stewart believed that there was documentation in the file that the property value today is valued at $30,000.  He added if he had the right to build a dwelling, the value to date would be about $120,000.  He noted there was a $90,000 loss that they are incurring.  He believed it was appropriate to waive restrictions to allow them to do what they could back on April 24, 1981.

 

Green asked what the timeline was where they could actually process the application.

 

Howe responded that the 1981 version of the AGT zone is an outright permitted use.

 

Green asked if Winger could proceed through the process.

 

Howe indicated he would need a state waiver first.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-7-7/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 05-5946, Maxine Taylor).

 

Howe reported that the property for this application is located southeast of Pleasant Hill,  250 acres in size and zoned E40, exclusive farm use zone.  He said the applicant desires five-acre lots with dwellings and the property was acquired in 1943.  He indicated the appraisal that has been provided shows a $3.6 million property value reduction.  He said staff’s review is this is a valid claim.  He added it is in the exclusive farm use zone and before any development could occur that would result from a local waiver, it would still require a waiver from the state.

 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

 

Steve Cornacchia, Eugene, stated he represents applicant Maxine Taylor.  He explained for waiver purposes, they must take it from the date the current owner purchased the property.  He stated that creates two classes.  He said the value issue is for today, not when the property was first purchased.  He said if they were to try to figure out what the property was worth in 1943 and what it is today, it is a wrong comparison.  He said to show the diminution in value, they show the difference between 1943 (there were no rules back then) and if she could build an eight house per acre subdivision today,  the value would be $4 million.   He said they would show how they would take the property to create the difference in value.  He said that one-acre parcels wouldn’t work.  He said for the purpose of valuation they chose five-acre lots and that was the value they figured.   He said they are asking to be compensated and in lieu of that to have the restrictions that restricted the property since 1943 waived.  He said if they get the waiver from the state, they would come back to the County with a request for development that would have to meet the division requirements.  He noted the order has the limitation, waivers and the explanations of previous cases.

 

Art Falk, Pleasant Hills, said he had no objection to the Taylor’s’ wanting to develop this.

 

Jeannie Hunt, stated she represented Weyerhaeuser.  She indicated that they own timberland adjacent to the property.  She said they don’t object to legal development of property, their concern was to look at the valuation, as it makes it harder for Weyerhaeuser to practice forestry adjacent to residential areas.  She said they get neighbor complaints.  She believed the County requirement would be a paragraph in the deed that they would be adjacent to forestland and they can’t complain about noise or equipment.  She commented that it makes the cost of business more expensive.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.

 

MOTION: to approve  ORDER 05-12-7-6.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

Dwyer commented that they were only waiving what they could, that the rest of the process would have to go forward.

 

c. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-12-7-8/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 (PA05-5948, Matthew Greufe).

 

Howe asked the claimant if he wanted to proceed or have his claim put on hold pending the Supreme Court decision.

 

Dwyer indicated they would be waiving the 180-day requirement for the Board to act.

 

Sorenson suggested that this be put on hold.

 

Howe explained that this property is on Parsons Creek near Marcola.  He said it is zoned F2, 22 acres in size.  He indicated the parents acquired the property in 1969.  Matthew Greufe acquired the property in 1988.  He said the F2 zoning went into effect in 1984 and it was zoned F2 when he acquired the property.  He said the regulations in effect at that time for minimum land divisions were based upon soil quality.  He said the best soils would allow a division down to 17 acres minimum.  He added that no land divisions would be allowed under the zoning in effect at the time.   He said the appraisal had been provided and showed a reduction value of $1.175 million, based on building six lots.  He said the appraisal is somewhat questionable.  He said the desire is for six buildable lots but the zoning in effect when he acquired the property in 1988 would not have allowed land division on the property.

 

Stewart also recommended that they wait to see what happens so there could be more clarity.

 

Howe indicated the property already had a dwelling on it.  He said the division size was based upon the soil quality and the best-case scenario would have been 17 acres.  He said a 22-acre property could not be divided.

 

Dwyer thought it would be in Greufe’s interest to wait to see if ownership passed to him.

 

Stewart thought they might be able to extend the time period and hope there is some clarity as to the ownership rights.  He said the Greufes could always move this forward to court themselves.

 

Matthew Greufe agreed to waive the timeline of 180 days.

 

18. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Stewart announced that Bob Kintgh was selected as the State Tree Farmer of the Year.

 

19. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

20. OTHER BUSINESS

 

PROS Plan

 

Vorhes reviewed the PROS Plan information.  He asked if the Board wanted to add or take anything out. He indicated he would have the letter ready for the chair’s signature.

 

Sorenson asked if it would have a regulatory effect.  He noted it did have a legal effect.   He asked what would happen if they wanted to expand a bike path in the Santa Clara River Road area.

 

Vorhes responded that was the debate they were having.  He didn’t think it would have a legal effect unless the Board adopted it and made it applicable to the area outside the city limits.  He noted the language the city uses in the PROS Comprehensive Plan does not have any legal effect on land located outside of the city limits.

 

MOTION: to approve to sending the letter.

 

Stewart MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

ORDER 05-12-7-9 Authorizing the Signing of a Quitclaim Deed for Property Described as Map No. 18-12-14-40-00300.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-12-7-9.

 

Stewart MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary