BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
September 14, 2005
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Lane County Board of County Commissioners Chairperson Anna Morrison presided, with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Lane County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Steve Vorhes and Recording Secretary C. Daniel Lindstrom were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Chair Morrison announced that a proposed letter to Governor Ted Kulongoski regarding litigation against the US Forest Service’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2004 would be added as an item of Emergency Business, continuing the discussion from the September 13 meeting.
Chair Morrison announced that celebration of the retirement of long-time Information Services Lane County Manager Paul White was scheduled for 4:00 p.m. She expressed the appreciation of the Board for his service.
Chair Morrison said the Board continued to wish a speedy recovery to Ethel Mashaw, Board of Commissioners Office Receptionist, from injuries sustained in a fall.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Noa O’Hare, 251 West Broadway, Eugene, expressed appreciation that the Board had accepted the signatures of 6,300 persons on a petition opposing the sale of the Lane County Fairgrounds. He said he also appreciated the extended consideration of issues related to the Fairgrounds at its September 13 meeting and the commitment made to not sell the property for ten years. He said the study requested would provide a better basis on which to make a decision regarding it.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Chair Morrison referred to a revision of her draft letter to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski requesting withdrawal of his lawsuit against the US Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2004. She said the new version referred to a resolution of the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) supporting the proposed Roadless Conservation Rule and an Oregon Legislative Assembly Memorial to the US Congress to extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 through federal year 2013.
Chair Morrison said she did not believe Governor Kulongoski was fully informed about the negative impact of his lawsuit on the reauthorization effort. (See material on file).
MOTION: to approve the letter and authorize the Chair to send it to Governor Kulongoski on Board of Commissioners Letterhead.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed the revision of the letter was an improvement to the previously considered version, less accusatory and more explanatory.
Commissioner Sorenson said he supported the action of Governor Kulongoski in bringing the lawsuit and would vote against the motion. He said the biggest challenge facing Lane County was the potential that federal forest payment legislation would not be reauthorized. He said it was most important that unified support for the reauthorization be developed. He suggested that the letter could be counterproductive in that effort by emphasizing the County’s disagreement with the Governor’s lawsuit.
VOTE: 4:1, with Commissioner Sorenson voting no.
4. PUBLIC WORKS
a. SEVENTY READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1190/In the Matter of Adopting Amendments to the Junction City Comprehensive Plan to Expand the Urban Growth Boundary to Include the Subject Property (a Portion of Tax Lot 1300 and a Portion of the Juniper Connector) and Redesignate the Portion of the Tax Lot from “Agricultural” Land To “Commercial,” and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.
Chair Morrison read Ordinance PA 1190 by title. She noted that a request for continuance of the matter had been received.
MOTION: to schedule an Eighth Reading of PA 1190 on January 18, 2006.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 05-9-13-13/In the matter of Authorizing Selling county Property that has been Designated as Parkland and Identified as Assessor’s Map No. 17-04-24-21-08 Commonly Known as 115 East Hillcrest, Eugene.
Chair Morrison read Order 05-9-13-13 by title.
Property Management Officer Jeff Turk referred to his Agenda Cover Memoranda dated August 31 and reviewed background material of the property in question. He said the Order was not to sell the property, but to make it available.
Commissioner Dwyer said it should be noted that the next item on the Agenda concerned the sale of the property.
Chair Morrison opened the Public Hearing.
Charley Harvey, 2655 Terrace View, Eugene, stated that he was Assistant Executive Director of the Eugene St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. He encouraged approval of the Order to enable the property to be sold and used for the development of affordable housing. He said property for such development was in limited supply and was steadily increasing in value. He said his agency currently had 300 persons on its waiting list to access affordable housing.
Chair Morrison determined there were no other persons wishing to testify and closed the public hearing.
MOTION: to adopt Order 05-9-13-13.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
In response to a question from Commissioner Dwyer, County Counsel Vorhes said it was not required to poll members in a vote to adopt a Board Order.
b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 4-05/In the Matter of Authorizing the Transfer of County Owned Real Property, for Consideration of $50,000, Located at 115 East Hillcrest, Eugene, to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County for the Purpose of Providing Affordable Housing.
Chair Morrison read Ordinance No. 4-05 by title.
Mr. Turk reviewed background regarding the Ordinance authorizing the sale of property. He explained that the house on the property had suffered vandalism and that it was estimated that approximately $80,000 would be required to improve it to code and livability standards. He said it was proposed to subdivide the property to create a second lot for development of additional affordable housing. He said the purchase price of $50,000 had been agreed to by St. Vincent de Paul Society and the proceeds would be used for County park purposes. He said the Housing Policy Board recommended adoption of the Ordinance and that all required public notices had been published.
Chair Morrison opened the Public Hearing.
Betty Dye, 113 East Hillcrest, Eugene, stated that her home adjoined the property in question. She said she was concerned that development of affordable housing implied construction of apartments. She explained that the 28 residences on Hillcrest already suffered from reduced water pressure and that additional development would exacerbate the problem. She said she had received many inquiries regarding the availability of her home and she believed making the property available for purchase to the general public would bring a higher selling price.
Commissioner Dwyer said apartments could not be built on the property in question because it was zoned for single-family residences. He suggested that any development would likely affect water pressure available in the area.
Charley Harvey, 2655 Terrace View, Eugene, said the proposed purchase price already constrained the budget of St. Vincent de Paul Society because of the high cost required for abating lead paint issues. He said his agency had no interest in building apartments on the site and that a single family home would also be developed on the second lot created by subdividing the property.
In response to questions from Commissioners Dwyer and Stewart, Mr. Harvey explained that St. Vincent de Paul had already developed “several hundred” affordable housing units in Lane County, that maintenance of properties was a high priority, that rehabilitation of the existing house might be possible without the opportunity to subdivide its property for a second home, and that the resale value of the rehabilitated house would be approximately $130,000.
Russell Dye, 113 Hillcrest Drive, Eugene, said he had resided next door to the property in question for fifteen years. He said the house on it had been in good shape when they first moved in. He described the neighborhood water pressure problem.
Commissioner Sorenson suggested that water pressure issues in the Hillcrest Drive area needed to be addressed by the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB).
Chair Morrison reported that she had received an E-mail message regarding Ordinance No. 4-05 from Eugene Wilhelmi, 85144 Denton’s Way, Florence. On the request of Commissioner Dwyer, she read the message. It expressed objection to sale of the property in question because the writer believed it violated the principles of transparency in government and separation of church and state. He said it gave away $110,000 of value needed by County parks and was poor “entrepreneurship.”
Chair Morrison determined there were no other requests to testify and closed the public hearing.
MOTION: to adopt Ordinance No. 4-05.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Commissioner Green said the Housing Policy Board had worked with St. Vincent de Paul Society on many affordable housing projects and found their efforts to be outstanding and without criticism.
Commissioner Dwyer said cooperation between Lane County and nonprofit developers of affordable housing had proven to be a policy that was for the common good. He said giving home owning responsibility to low-income families had a positive track record. He said he did not agree with the comments in the E-mail message and believed that the Board of Commissioners had a public duty to seek benefits to all citizens of the County.
Commissioner Stewart said he had mixed feelings about the Ordinance. He said he believed it was good to support the affordable housing development efforts of St. Vincent de Paul and others, but the agency could have purchased the property when it was offered for sale at the time of the tax foreclosure and still provided funds for County Parks.
Commissioner Dwyer said the County only received “nine cents on the dollar” from tax foreclosure sales, less than would be realized from the proposed sale.
Commissioner Sorenson said it was State law that provided for receipts from foreclosure sales to be divided proportionally among all taxing districts involved. He said transferring it to park lands, even though it was not suitable for park development, resulted in a larger profit to the County, in addition to enabling good projects such as affordable housing.
Chair Morrison said the involvement of the private sector needed to be recognized in the development of affordable housing. She said the generosity of building supply businesses was especially notable.
Commissioner Sorenson said the increasingly difficulty of ensuring that affordable housing was available was illustrated by the fact that 32 years ago 18 percent of the income tax was paid by corporations, versus 5 percent in 2004.
VOTE: 3:2 - Morrison – No
Dwyer – Yes
Green – Yes
Sorenson – Yes
Stewart – No
c. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1224/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land From “Forest Land” to “Nonresource,” Rezone That Land from “F-2/Impacted Forest Lands” to “RR-5/Rural Residential;” and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.
Chair Morrison read Ordinance No. PA 1224 by title. She read the rules for land use hearings. She noted that supplemental material related to the Ordinance had been received.
Land Management Division Staff Jerry Kendall reviewed the background and facts related to the Ordinance presented in the original Agenda Support Material and the concerns found in the supplemental material.
Chair Morrison determined that no Commissioner had held ex parte contact or had a conflict of interest regarding the Ordinance and opened the public hearing.
Wilhelm Hagen, 88643 Collard Lake Road, Florence, stated that he was the applicant and owned the property in question. He showed pictures of the property and presented numerous maps, graphs, topographical studies, soil ratings, reports from forest consultants, and other material to support his contention that the property should have never been classified as “Forest Land.” He submitted evidence from a Siuslaw National Forest Study, his own tree boring study, and Oregon Forest Department records that the timber production possibilities for the land was minimal. He suggested that the land should be classified as “scotch broom land.” He provided data from studies of water drainage, aquifer, traffic, wetlands, and neighboring properties supporting his contention that the property was suitable for development. He asked that his application be approved.
Jim Hecker, 88864 Archer Lane, Florence, said he was opposed to approving the application because Lane Code criteria for Forest Land designation were met. He said he believed an aggressive brush thinning and tree management plan could make the property marginally productive. He said the high percolation rate of the area soils made it unsuitable for development. He said the property had a scenic value to the area that should be maintained.
Jim Anderson, 85967 View Loop, Florence said he was opposed to approving the application. He said he was concerned that development of the property in question would create traffic issues for already established residences in the area. He said access to the property was unclear, traffic capacity was already reached on existing roads, and the noise created by additional traffic was unacceptable.
Chair Morrison determined there were no other persons present wishing to testify and invited the applicant to present rebuttal.
Mr. Hagen referred to evidence from his studies that he said showed even aggressive forest management would not make his property timber productive. He showed that watershed studies indicated that water runoff would not negatively impact the area. He said scenic values of the area would be maintained. He said access to his planned development would be from Mercer Lake Road and not impact existing traffic patterns of area residents.
Chair Morrison closed the public hearing at 3:00 p.m.
Chair Morrison said she was familiar with the area, its traffic and trees. She said she believed the property location was appropriate for development and agreed with the recommendation of the Planning Commission to approve the application.
MOTION: to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1224.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Commissioner Dwyer said he was also familiar with the area and agreed that it did not appear to be productive forestland. He said he believed adequate safe guards for development were in place and that the application was not onerous on the area.
Commissioner Sorenson said he found the evidence provided by the applicant to be helpful in making his decision to support the motion. He said he believed “scenic” preservation was a subjectively decided quality and could be a source of controversy in the future.
d. PUBLIC HEARING/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.
Chair Morrison read the title of the Public Hearing. She noted that supplemental material dated September 13 had been received (PA05-5537, James and Carol Silke).
Planning Director Kent Howe referred to information contained in Agenda Support Material submitted with his cover memoranda dated September 14 and 13. He noted that staff recommended that the County Administrator conclude that the Ballot Measure 37 Claim by James and Carol Silke was not a valid claim and that the Board should direct issuance of a final written decision denying the Claim. He reviewed analysis of the application that showed that adequate appraisal or value determination information had not been provided for it to qualify for compensation consideration.
In response to questions from Commissioner Stewart, Mr. Howe explained that the current zoning of the property in question was RR-1 and that it had been the choice of the applicant to make the Measure 37 Claim directly to Lane County, creating a deadline for a response to be given.
Commissioner Sorenson said it appeared that the lack of adequate appraisal information was a “fatal flaw” of the application and that it needed to be denied. He said all applicants were given equal opportunity to meet all requirements.
Chair Morrison asked if any Commissioner had ex parte contacts regarding the application.
Commissioner Dwyer said he had been approached by Attorney Bill Kloos requesting information on how to direct the letter and deed information submitted to the Commission in the Supplemental Material received.
Commissioner Sorenson asked if Commissioners could be required to disclose ex parte contacts on Ballot Measure 37 Claims. Mr. Vorhes replied that although it was not officially required since it was not a land use decision; the Chair could request such disclosure on any matter to ensure impartiality.
Commissioner Sorenson said he had had no ex parte contact regarding the claim, but reserved his right to object to disclosure requests in future matters.
Chair Morrison said she had received a telephone call from Mr. and Mrs. Silke, but had referred it to Mr. Howe.
Commissioner Green said that since the relevant Ordinance required appraisal information that had not been provided, he did not believe the claim should be considered.
Commissioner Dwyer said he agreed that all applications should be treated equally and that the staff recommendation was correct. He noted that the requirement for appraisal information could have been waived by the County Administrator, but that a request for such a waiver had not been submitted.
Commissioner Sorenson asked why a public hearing was being held on an incomplete claim application. Mr. Howe replied that the purpose was to determine the agreement of the Board of Commissioners with the staff interpretation.
Commissioner Green asked if it was necessary to continue with the public hearing. Mr. Vorhes replied that the hearing could be held, if the Board wanted more information regarding the staff recommendation. Mr. Van Vactor said he agreed.
Commissioner Dwyer said he believed consistency in requirements was necessary to ensure fairness to all.
Commissioner Green said he did not believe the public hearing should have been scheduled because the application was incomplete, but that since there was testimony prepared, he supported moving forward with receiving it.
Commissioner Sorenson said he agreed that the hearing should continue. He said the problem with Measure 37 issues was that they were based on a flawed initiative approved by voters who were not fully informed of its consequences.
Commissioner Stewart said he also believed the hearing should continue, but he suggested that the record of the hearing be left open to allow for submission of additional information, as had been done in a previously considered situation.
Chair Morrison opened the public hearing.
Bill Kloos, 375 West Fourth Street, Suite 204, Eugene, said he represented the claimant. He asked that the public record be left open to allow him to continue to discuss an issue related to relevant rules in force in 1977.
Commissioner Green asked if it would be possible for the applicant to secure an adequate appraisal or value determination information. Mr. Kloos replied that the information would be provided, if it were required.
Mr. Kloos stated that his clients agreed with the staff report. He said the matter was a complex zoning development. He described complications of the proposal.
Ron Funke, 2595 Charnelton, Eugene, said he was neutral regarding the matter being considered, but that he represented three other pending Ballot Measure 37 claims. He said he did not believe a fair formal appraisal of property being considered for development was possible.
Commissioner Dwyer asked for consideration of a Point of Order. He said he did not believe the testimony of Mr. Funke was relevant to the current hearing. Mr. Funke replied that his testimony was on the topic being considered, not the specific application/claim.
Commissioner Green said he believed the information being provided was more appropriately shared during the Public Comment time of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Sorenson said he welcomed the comments of Mr. Funke because they showed the complexity of Ballot Measure 37 Claims. He said decisions about such claims were about policies and were not quasi judicial in nature.
Lauri Segel, 534 SW Third Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, said she represented 1000 Friends of Oregon. She said her organization had reviewed the Measure 37 Claim under consideration and agreed that the claimants had not submitted adequate evidence to justify their claim. She submitted a document entitled “Measuring Compensation Under Measure 37: An Economist’s Perspective” by Andrew J. Plantinga of the Oregon State University Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. She summarized its findings and discussed issues with members of the Board.
Ms. Segal said 1000 Friends of Oregon did not believe the claimants met the requirements for a valid Ballot Measure 37 claim. She said if the County determined that the requirements were met in the future and determine to exercise the available option to waive certain land use regulations, it should be aware that such a waiver was limited to authorizing a use allowed at the time the claimants acquired the property and would require application of statewide Land Use Goals in force at the time.
Chair Morrison determined there were no further requests to testify and closed the public hearing.
MOTION: to keep the record of the public hearing open until a date to be determined, allowing the applicant to submit required information.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
There appeared to be agreement to schedule consideration of additional information submitted at the first Regular Meeting of the Board in November and to set October 22, 2005, as the deadline for additional submissions to be submitted.
Chair Morrison left the meeting at 3:55 p.m.
VOTE: 4:0, with Chair Morrison being absent.
5. COMMISSIONERS’ ANNOUNCEMENTS
Commissioner Sorenson said he was sorry to have not been able to attend the celebration of the retirement of Paul White, but that he wanted to record that he believed he had contributed to the success of Regional Information Services.
6. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
7. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
C. Daniel Lindstrom