BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

WORK SESSION

October 25, 2005

9:00 a.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 6/28/06

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Terry Saubert, Mapleton, said it appeared to him by the document they received about the findings, that the directive by the Board of Commissioners was lost in translation.He said the Mapleton Dock Committee had asked for all existing docks on the Siuslaw River to be considered lawfully established and or grandfathered, and that all dock repairs and maintenance of pilings, ramps and landings be considered public safety issues.He added that these repairs should be available with a piling replacement and or removal on the state-owned waterways under OR 141-089-044, with no added permits required from Lane County.He added that Lane County Planning should not require any regulations greater than what the state requires for docks, ramps, pilings and landings as stated in ORS 215.215.He stated that when a dock structure is sold or inherited, the current dock registration and permits should be included within the title property.He said the dock registration should be recorded as a part of the deed.

 

Chuck Farrington, Eugene, stated he and his wife run a consignment shop and have been using BWI for two years for buying and consigning items.He found it to be a great tool.He had nothing negative to say about it.He said it helps stops the trafficking in stolen goods.He added that it has a database that is good for inventory control.

 

Jesse Breakfield, Eugene, said he works for a consignment shop.He indicated he had been using BWI for three years and he had no major problems that their help desk couldnít fix.He commented it was a fast reference to bring up customers.

 

Sue Bozarth, Mapleton, commented that the Mapleton Dock Committee hadnít asked any more from the Board but a fair, consistent, affordable, easy to understand dock registration process.She commented that after a year, all they have is a date to work with registering docks and a new definition of grandfathering and a comparison of the County dock registration guidelines.She noted the Oregon Department of State Lands has a complete self-explanatory packet with fee schedules and definitions.She asked why Lane County found it hard to make registering a dock user-friendly.She commented that with all the budget problems Lane County is experiencing, why they would spend thousands blocking the registration of docks when the permits would generate a small income to the County.

 

Jim Bozarth, Mapleton, noted when they first applied for dock permits at Lane County they received a different answer every time they came in.He noted at first his dock permit was a $1,126 special use permit on the land, $1162 for riparian modification permits for the ramp and a $1,126 special use permit for pilings in the river, a river impact study and building permits.He said today Land Management decided that it had no jurisdiction between natural high waterlines.He stated this jurisdiction belongs solely to the Department of State Lands and shows that Lane Countyís sole concern in this matter was the hook up of the ramp in the riparian zone.He added the riparian modification permit also changed from zero tolerance to an intrusion of greater than ten feet before a permit would be required.††† He noted the fee would have been between $3,000 to $6,000.He commented that after reading the letter from DLCD to Kent Howe, the key phase was ďor as amended thereafter.ĒHe said it meant the Board had the power to amend the plan and make the problem go away.He suggested making a rule that a ramp intrusion of no greater than 15 feet into the riparian zone would not require special use permits.

 

Diane Saubert, Mapleton, commented that the experience she had with County government had been limited, and there are hidden agendas being acted out.†† She asked the Board to make a common sense decision without greed, fear or hidden agendas being the motivation factors.She said she had seen an increase in her permits for dock fees.

 

Star Wood, Eugene, said they are owner operators of a buy and sell store in South Eugene.  She said they have used BWI for the past three years, and had found benefits over time.She said the benefit of the system is preventing stolen goods being purchased by them.

 

Patrick McCoy, Springfield, opposed the system.He commented it would cost money and didnít think it would do anyone any good.He said a lot of the merchandise is not serialized.He added there are holes in the system.He thought this system would cost him between $500 and $1,500.

 

Lance Barkley, Eugene, recalled the last time they were present, Jan Clements was Sheriff and made a statement that second hand stores are traffickers in stolen property.Barclay commented that was not a fact.His concern is the cost of doing business with BWI.He said their shop does 15,000 transactions a year.He said if they use BWI and charge a dollar that would be outrageous.He added the ordinance states if they choose not to use BWI, the price would be increased by $3.00.He commented that people who come to their shops are in need of money and a fee would be substantial to the customers.He said with BWI they would be sending personal information out of the country.He thinks that is a violation.He commented that if they are going to use a firm, they should use one in the United States.

 

O.B. Biggs, Springfield, thought BWI did the opposite of what they were hoping for.He indicated it was expensive for the customer.†† He thought they shouldnít be sending money to Canada, as they donít pay taxes.

 

Gil Burgess, Glenwood, said the issue with BWI is the fee structure.He commented that he could see the fees increasing over time.He wondered what other fees would be tacked on.He noted the value of stolen items in his store that is recovered yearly is about $1,500 to $1,800.

 

David Nelkin, Eugene, said they do everything through paperwork and he doesnít have a computer to enter peopleís names.He said most of the things that come in his store are jewelry instead of items with serial numbers.He didnít know if the system would be good with jewelry.He liked the fee charged to the customer, but suggested taking the BWI charge as an excess fee to put in a fund for second-hand dealers for merchandise that has been taken from them.

 

David Marco, Schnitzer Steel, Eugene, stated he represented the scrap metal industry.He said they have about 100 transactions per day.He said it is hard to identify the material they get.He said they have a strong working relationship with the police department.†† He noted that they are required to take identification for every transaction.He thought it was a strong deterrent.He said he sees little to no crime from their scrap yard.He said they are in the same category as pawnshops but donít have the same type of business.He said they donít hold merchandise that has value to be sold to someone else.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. WORK SESSION/Used Merchandise Dealer Ordinance.

 

Sheriff Russ Burger explained the goal is to automate reporting to help law enforcement apprehend some of the people who are selling stolen merchandise and to return stolen property to the victims in a timely manner.He reported that he sent a letter to all of the used merchandise dealers.

 

Burger stated the way the system works now is if something was burglarized and taken to a used merchandise dealer and pawned, those who are not automated fill out a secondhand dealer report. Then the detective goes through the list of transactions to try to match the stolen property to the slip.He reported the theory behind the automated system is the used merchandise dealer takes the item and immediately enters it into the system.He said when the detective gets the burglary report, they punch in the information and matches come up.He commented that an automated system tremendously reduces the amount of detective and administrative time needed to match reports with stolen property.He added the other issue the detectives are faced with is a seven-day limit on the amount of time a used merchandise dealer has to hold an article.He said they are getting more than 200 property crimes per month in unincorporated Lane County.He said there are not enough detective resources to go through all of the reports to match with all of the pawn slips.He said the automated system eliminates that and speeds things up.He added when a used merchandise dealer fills out a report, some do it by hand and the penmanship is difficult to read.With regard to jewelry, he noted an automated system would require additional information that would help.He said when they enter the system electronically, they receive a hard copy that would be the same as a second hand dealer report.

 

Burger indicated that they are trying to establish uniformity for all of the law enforcement agencies in dealing with used merchandise. He said they want to create a database so detectives could match items listed on reports to maximize resources that are limited.He noted that with any of the automated systems, any other county could enter into the automated system to look for stolen property and find it in their jurisdiction.He commented that having this system in place is a great deterrent to people trying to sell stolen merchandise.

 

Randy Berger, City of Eugene, indicated that they looked at several automated reporting systems.He said they asked several stores if they would participate in a pilot project.He said when the pilot project was initiated, the fee structure was a one-dollar transaction to cover expenses.He said that had changed recently.He said they have been offered a five-year contract through the vendor business watch for a fee of $20,200 per year to cover the transactions in all of Lane County and the municipal districts within Lane County.He estimated there would be about 70,000 transactions per year.He said if there were additional transactions beyond the amount listed in the contract, there would be an additional fee.He noted that under the proposal, any transaction above 120,000 would access a $505 annual increase for every additional 3,000 transactions.He explained that the IGA that they are considering would be with the City of Eugene and there wouldnít be any further costs to second hand dealers. He said a store could use their own point of sale system.

 

Dwyer asked why they didnít do an automated reporting system before.He noted that this ordinance didnít include the City of Eugene.He asked why the City of Eugene wasnít asked to pay the fees.

 

Berger said this had been a collaborative effort between Lane County, Springfield and Eugene, all jurisdictions were interested in automated reporting.He said going to the County as a first step was to identify the County stores and get them on Board and then go to the city stores.He wanted to do it on a step-by-step basis.

 

Dwyer asked if having this system would deter crime.

 

Berger said that crime would continue but the business model of second hand stores is such that it is attractive for people who need quick cash.He said this is to help law enforcement identify stolen property and recover it.

 

Dwyer asked if they could set a cap based on the actual cost to recover.He was concerned that this would become a revenue scheme that would have no cap that is beneficial.

 

Burger explained there would either be a flat fee or a five-year contract.He said that would set the limit of the amount it would cost to go to an automated system.

 

Dwyer commented that by capping this for Lane County that it wouldnít have any effect on the other cities.

 

Burger said they need to go to an automated system that, even if his department has to pay for it, it would come out of his budget.

 

Dwyer stated he would be willing to contribute to that too.

 

Stewart thought they should take the program and try to sell it to the business owners because it is going to improve their efficiency.He wanted to know how they would get everyone to sign up to make it work instead of having a divided situation.

 

Morrison commented if the police chiefs donít have buy-in on a countywide basis, then they would have problems like they have with LCARA.

 

Stewart thought if this was a valuable service, Lane County should do it instead of BWI.

 

Dwyer stated he had seen other systems that had worked that were cheaper.He asked why they were using a Canadian system.

 

Burger agreed with Stewartís suggestion that they donít force something on someone who doesnít want it.He said if the used merchandise dealers in unincorporated Lane County were willing to meet with him and discuss it further, he would do that before they move forward.

 

Morrison recalled when this was brought to Finance and Audit there was information on other companies, and the pros and cons of the products and what was being provided.She said if they put out an RFP they could get the product they want. She commented that they need to make sure that what they are buying would maximize the return of stolen merchandise.

 

Sorenson didnít want to move ahead on this as a county ordinance when the bulk of the stores are in Eugene and Springfield.He wanted the police chiefs to come to an agreement and bring it back to the Board.

 

Green said this is valuable because it shows the public what they could do with property crimes.He noted that currently they werenít doing anything.He said if the trend continues and people donít want to finance public safety, this system could be a valuable tool.He would support whatever they came up with.He cautioned the Board that if they directed the Sheriff to absorb this in his budget that there would be an adjustment that would come back to the Board.

 

Dwyer was in agreement that the Sheriff should work with the four shops that are in the unincorporated area.With regard to the Cities of Springfield and Eugene, he wanted the model ordinance to be presented to the city councils.

 

Stewart thought it was a good system.He thought instead of making it mandatory, it was better to sell it by showing how it would save time.

 

Morrison was supportive of the program, and said have this would be a plus.She agreed they should not force the cities to arbitrarily do this.She didnít think they would get all of the pawn dealers to buy in on this.She doing something was better than nothing.She stated at this point she wanted Burger to work collectively with the cities to see where they are going to be, and to meet with the pawn dealers.She wanted a report back on the information.

 

6. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. REPORT BACK/Oregon Department of State Lands Dock Registration on the Siuslaw River (NBA & PM 6/25/05).

 

Jeff Towery, Land Management, recalled that in June the Board asked them to explore any options they could discover to grandfather existing docks on the Siuslaw and to present a plan to update the inventory of those documents.He noted the inventory had been updated.He indicated that 92 of the private docks on the Siuslaw need to be registered.He added that as of this writing, 56 were registered, five were removed, leaving 31 structures.He said they had identified 16 of those to be grandfathered in, leaving 15 that might require a special use permit.He said they could find a path to grandfathering docks that were newer than the ordinance.He indicated they received correspondence from the DLCD stating the Countyís ability to grandfather its docks is limited to the time prior to their Comprehensive Plan being acknowledged. He noted the date of September 13, 1984 is when DLCD thought they could grandfather docks.He added they were already using the 1982 photos.He noted there was about an 18-month window that was unclear about grandfathering.

 

Morrison asked if Lane County could amend the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Towery explained there was some language in the stateís letter stating that the ordinance as it was amended (and in one of the discussions he had with the dock owners in the area) was to amend it to make the docks legal.He indicated their position was that it wasnít an amendment, it was a waiver.He said that any amendment they make has to be consistent with their comp plan and with statewide goals.He said that is grandfathering and that is something DLCD is telling them they canít do that.

 

Dwyer asked if any other county had used the state code to rely on grandfathering boat docks.

 

Towery wasnít sure how other countiesí codes compare to the stateís.He didnít find any other county putting in place special legislation grandfathering docks or pilings.He stated the state told him they believe that Lane County is bound by the Comprehensive Plan that they have acknowledged.He indicated it had been the standard they applied until now and DLCD told them that is what they have to live with.He noted they had been regulating docks since 1980 in Lane County and that was prior to the acknowledgement of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Dwyer asked if the next step was an annual fee for the registered dockholders from the DSL because they have a dock on their waterway.He asked if removing the exemption would remove the small docks.

 

Kevin Moynahan, Department of State Lands, explained there would be a registration fee of $125 for the majority of docks and boathouses and $25 for a five-year period to place a dock or a boathouse on state owned submerged lands.

 

Dwyer asked what fees were charged in 1980.

 

Howe said they were around $200 or less.

 

Dwyer wanted to charge whatever fee was in place in 1980 for the 15 docks and after this charge the regular rate so they are not grandfathering.

 

Morrison asked if some of the 15 docks that were built in the 90ís have paid their normal fees in 1994 or 1996.She asked if this would set a precedent for them to come back and refund that money.

 

Wilson commented that it raises an issue of fairness.She said they could try to write a special fee for this of group who did not get their building permit or appropriate land use approval at the time they put the dock in.She said they would be creating a precedent on how to bill fees for people who had not gotten their land use permit at a point in time.

 

Morrison wanted to structure it by when the dock was built and charge the fees that were in place at that time.She was in favor of people paying what it would have cost them at the time they built their dock and didnít get a permit.

 

Towery said they were clear on how to apply the code that exists now.

 

Green recommended for the 13 applications that need to be made that they be paid over time.If they donít pay it off within a year then their property could be liened.He said the state said they need to follow their direction as a statute. He added they are bound by their land use comprehensive plan and if they donít follow it they would be violating their own plan.

 

Stewart didnít have a problem going back to pay the fee.He asked how people were notified in 1980 that permits were required for docks.

 

Howe responded it was a legislative process.He noted the adoption of the whole Rural Comprehensive Plan was a lengthy event that involved multiple meetings.He said there were not specific property notices given.

 

Van Vactor recalled there was a general notice in the newspaper.He noted there was not an individualized property owner notice.

 

Stewart wanted to go back to pinpoint when the docks were constructed and to charge the fee that was applicable at that time.

 

Van Vactor asked abut people who may have paid a full fee in the last year getting a refund because their dock was put in several years ago.

 

(The meeting was recessed at 11:55 p.m. and resumed at 2:00 p.m.)

 

Morrison noted that all of the people who had already complied had paid the $48 and they were okay with that.

 

Sorenson asked how many people had paid the announced fees that the Board of Commissioners had enacted a couple of years ago.

 

Moynahan noted there were approximately 23 registered structures before they started their mailings earlier this year on the Siuslaw River.He said those were registrations that were obtained with a self-affidavit of compliance by the applicant.He noted it did not go through the County planning process.He said they signed in good faith that they were in compliance and they never ran their application through the County.

 

Morrison thought there were potentially 23 docks that could come back wanting a refund.

 

Moynahan responded that of the 23, some paid the County.

 

Sorenson asked if there were problems in creating a separate class of people getting the lower rate.

 

Van Vactor thought the whole class would be treated the same.He thought anyone under the new process would pay the fee that relates back to when the dock went in.

 

Wilson said it was possible to create a class description that is defendable.She noted the policy issue is a case of conflicting or revised information for the property owners to what was required, compared to an enforcement philosophy issue.She said they now take a different approach on notice than they had in the past.She said governmentís responsibilities were changed.She said they have a situation where the docks were not in compliance.She commented that had a complaint been made, the Board would have been in an enforcement situation under the land use compliance question.She said they needed to move a class of people out of the risk of enforcement actions into lower cost.She said they might see a risk of challenges from people who are also subject to enforcement who will want a class created for them.She thought they could write a class to minimize the description to minimize the risk.

 

Van Vactor recalled in March 2005, the DSL sent out 92 mailings.He thought as a policy they could treat those 92 all the same and of the 92 that need to file applications, it would go back to when they could prove they had the dock, and the others would have an opportunity to come in at a lower cost.

 

Sorenson asked that this be drafted by staff and returned.

 

Green asked if they plan to reduce the fees at this point in time, if the state would refund the difference.

 

Moynahan said they have no mechanism for refunding.

 

Green thought the fairest way was to go back to March 2005, put the burden of proof on the people and give them a window of opportunity. He didnít want to go back 25 years to what it would have cost then.

 

Dwyer suggested they draft an order pursuant to the ideas that were discussed with a window of opportunity that closes and then make it clear it is prospective and not retrospective.He said they donít violate the comp plan if it shows their best effort.

 

Moynahan explained that of the original 92 owners, some individuals did not get a mailing.He asked how they would deal with those people.

 

Dwyer amended his motion to include those who were not notified due to Scribnerís errors, as being in the same class.

 

Moynahan noted the direction they had been given is to bring any uses occupying state owned land into compliance with leases or registrations.He said they could work closely with the county.

 

MOTION: staff to return with a Board order that would take the applicants that fall under the class that received the 1992 mailings from the Department of State Lands in March 2005 and any others that should have received the notice but didnít.Staff will apply a look at the history and charge the fees that would have been applicable when the dock was installed upon sufficient proof as to the date of installation of the dock.Any future applications would have a window of opportunity within one year, otherwise it is the normal fee.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Moynahan said it was true that DLCD dropped this on the County.He said they are doing what they are directed to do.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

8. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

9. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary