BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
October 26, 2005
Commissionersí Conference Room
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.
13. PUBLIC COMMENT
Bob Suess, Eugene, commented that the code endorsement policies adopted in March 2005 are a step in the right direction.† He didnít think any permit should be outstanding without notification for seven years.† He said that performance procedures should be reviewed and notification to the original responsible party, not a new owner having no contact knowledge.† He added that denying appeal rights to the original party is morally wrong.† He asked the commissioners as individuals, if they were able to provide records of proof after a seven to ten year period.† He noted the April 4, 1995 letter from their engineer to Land Management is one of the many examples.† With regard to the submitted plans, he said the certificate of occupancy showed 23 spaces added.† He added the 1998 license showed 60 spaces.† He noted in the past ten years they have had over 30 inspections of the patio RV park and there had not been a final permit.
14. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION AND ACTION/CA04-0410 Expired Permits for Patio RV Park Patricia C. Shephard Trust, Umbrella Properties Ė Leon Pearson (16-55-15-30-00300).
Jeff Towery, Land Management,† explained that the issue is a reconsideration of a compliance action that the division pursued late last year.† He said this was a case where the initial permit was about ten years old, from the time of original issuance to the time it came to the attention of their compliance program.† He noted the County records showed a history of some inspections but not all of the inspections.† He added there was a change of ownership immediately prior to the issue coming to complianceís attention last year.† He indicated that Suess submitted a lot of information to compliance staff during the course of this event and some of the information he presented to the Board had come to his attention from a recent closure of a Seattle office.† He said there were detailed inspection records provided by the engineer for the project at the time.† He said those records confirmed the information that was in Land Managementís files.
Towery recalled that some members of the Board had contact with Suess while the case was ongoing.† He noted when he met with the Board in March 2005 to discuss the compliance program and expired permits; this was one of the cases that outlined some of the policy and implementation options they presented to the Board.† He reminded the Board that a strict application of the building code for expired permits requires the issuance of a new permit at full cost for all expired permits that are more than one year old.† He said they interpreted the code to allow them to reinstate older permits and they credit the reinstated permits for work that had already been done.† He noted that, on this case, had full reinstatement been required, the permit costs would have been around $4,500; more than the $2,400 that was ultimately paid.† He said Suess has said that Lane County had ample opportunity to know about this permit.† Towery indicated that they did not start an active program to deal with expired permits until 18 months ago.
Towery indicated that this is a circumstance where there is a new property owner and there have been other permits that had been processed since the permit expired.† He noted among the options that were provided to the Board in March to consider, was not pursuing the reinstatement permits of a certain age.† He said at that time the Board decided that was not a position they wanted to take.† He commented that the Board didnít ask them to seek out reinstatement of older permits, but to continue to process them as they came to their attention.† He noted a policy option was to consider reducing or waiving fees when other permits or applications have been issued for a property or structure.† He said the Board did not take any affirmative action on the policy direction.† He added they discussed limiting fees for final inspections and the Board supported that direction.† He said† expired permits that only require final inspection could be conducted by a single field visit by an inspector and the charge would be for the reinspection fee only.† He recalled that the Board approved the condition that those final inspections be successful. He noted in this case there were more than final expectations required.† He said the reinstatement for a permit would be at least 30% of the original permit cost.
Tower noted that because Suess is no longer the owner of the property, their code requires them to interact with the new owner on an official basis and they did that.† He said when it came time to demand reinstatement, it went to the current owner and he paid the fee, but did not choose to continue the enforcement process to the point of an appeal.† He said in that case when they received the fee from the new owner, they closed the case in February.
Dwyer asked what Suess wanted.
Towery said that Suess wanted the $2,400 returned.† Towery indicated they received a check from Umbrella Properties.† He wasnít aware of any financial transactions that might have occurred between the prior and current owner. He said if the Board were to ask them to return all or part of the funds, they would refund the money back to Umbrella Properties.
Dwyer asked if they were to give the money back how it would benefit Suess.
Towery noted that Suess had taken this action as a question of his personal integrity.† He said that wasnít the way they approach those types of cases.† He said they donít think it is a matter of Suess lacking integrity; it was that final inspections werenít called for and werenít done.
Suess believed the funds should be returned because he had complete records and was denied the right of appeal.† He said Shephard sent a letter stating how he felt when he paid the fee.† He said he wasnít after dollars, but correction of a principle.
Green said that Suess and Hoag made him aware of what was going on.† He noted there was a compliance issue and the fees had been increased.† He said Shephard paid it out of protest because he needed to move on.† He said Shephard didnít believe it was fair.† He recalled that they gave staff direction to be more aggressive on compliance issues.† He wasnít sure Land Managementís record keeping was accurate.† He agreed to waive the fees to Umbrella Properties.
MOTION:† to agree to waive fees to Umbrella Properties for $2,400.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Stewart agreed with the motion.
Green commented that this motion does not mean there should be a precedent set.† He said the Board needs to be consistent because staff is doing what the Board asked.
Morrison said they had given direction to staff to clean up old files.† She said whether or not the property had sold, this would have come forward.
b. ORDER 05-10-26-6/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 (PA05-5163, Asghar Sadri).
Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled they were before the Board on June 29, with Sadriís Measure 37 claim that was incomplete.† He said the Board elected to give Sadri until some time in October to complete the application.† He said Sadri had provided a complete application and paid the fees.† He said they have a current title report and the deed, record and appraisal had been provided.† He said they have a complete application.
Howe noted the issue before the Board is that Sadri is in an exclusive farm use zone that under todayís regulations, requirements for an $80,000 gross annual income on high value farm soils.† He made an application for that.† He noted the application was not complete for that so it was denied.† He wasnít sure if the denial would hold up.† He said the criteria that would have been in effect when he acquired the property in 1993 was an exclusive farm use zone.† He noted that the provision in 1993 was a discretionary determination and under permitted uses,† it allows a dwelling customarily provided in conjunction with farm use, provided it complies and will be the only house on the property.† He added that it would be on a legal lot managed as part of a farm operation and that at least one occupant of the proposed dwelling would be employed in conjunction with the current farm use of the farm operation.† He said it is up to the Board to determine if the discretionary provision could be met, then the appraisal is accurate and they have a valid claim and the applicant could be allowed to come back to make an application for a farm dwelling under those 1993 provisions.† He added if the Board had a question on whether the applicant could meet the requirements, then it brings the appraisal into question.† He said under the current provision, the test is one in where he had made an application and was denied under the $80,000 annual income test.
Sorenson asked what was the change in the value of the property.
Howe said the appraisal is on the basis of the land being vacant in 2005.† He noted in 1993 it was vacant land but if they could put a dwelling on it, it would be the additional value of the dwelling that is the reduction in value from 2005.
Van Vactor recommended that they waive the 1994 change in the Lane Code that was predicated on state law.† He said then the claimant could come forward with an application for discretionary permit and apply the criteria that existed at the time they purchased the property.
Vorhes indicated that the focus today is on current county regulations that apply to the property.† He said the state law and state regulations are not something the County had taken the position they could waive.† He said that this property owner would have to go to the state to deal with it.† He said they made the demand on the County and they enforced the County code regulations that deny the request for approval to place a dwelling on the property.† He said by applying for a non-farm dwelling, it didnít provide enough evidence about not being high value farmland.† He added that it convinced them it was eligible under the criteria but the claim that has now been submitted has asserted that it is high value but it canít meet the $80,000 income test under Lane Code.† He noted that is what they are focusing on and the claim has been submitted to Lane County.† He said the affect of the regulation and the reduction on the date the claim is made, looks at what the value of the property is on a certain date based on the regulations they think restricts the property and what it would it be if those restrictions are not in place.
MOTION:† to approve alternative 3.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Sorenson thought they should defer consideration of Measure 37 claims until it is clear what the state of the law is.† He didnít think there was deprivation of land value that had been met.
VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sorenson said he had discussed the Siuslaw County issue with Annette Newingham, Elections, regarding a county being formed.† He noted there is no expiration period for applicants to create a county under Oregon law.† He added a signature is valid at the point that the person signs it if they are a registered voter in the new county where they sign it.
16. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
17. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 2:15 p.m.