BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

April 5, 2006

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 5/31/06

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. 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 06-4-5-16/In the Matter of Certification of Final Assessments for Improvements to North Game Farm Road (County Road Number 1043) Between Mile Post 0.41 and Mile Post 1.69 and Setting Lien Values Against Adjacent Properties (NBA & PM 2/22/06).

 

Frank Simas, Public Works, reported the construction for the project had been completed and approved by the County engineer for the purpose of final assessments on January 20, 2006.He noted the adjacent properties were made subject to the pending lien on March 30, 2005 in an amount to be determined later by the Board.He said on February 22, 2006, the Board set a public hearing for today for the purpose of hearing objections to the final assessments for improvements for the North Game Farm Road project area.He indicated the total cost of total road improvements to be $2,214,254, of which $126,651 (including 13% in engineering and administrative costs) is to be assessed to the benefiting properties. He added that $63,231.78 is for assessments that might be deferred because they do not take vehicular access off the completed improvement.

 

Simas explained that accessible items include the curb, gutter, sidewalk and driveways.He said the project involves the assessments of city residents and by Resolution 48-13, (passed by the city on October 11, 2004;) the City of Eugene authorized Lane County to assess benefiting properties under the jurisdiction of the City in connection with the road improvement project.He noted the alternatives for the Board at completion of hearing are to certify final assessments as shown in Exhibit A (attached to the order) or to waive assessments and forego assessment costs.He stated staffís recommendation is Option 1, to certify final assessments as shown in Exhibit A.

 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

 

Joan Hayter Stevens, Eugene, stated she backs up to Game Farm Road.She indicated when she purchased the property in September 2002, she was not informed by anyone of the assessment.She thought everyone who lives in Hawthorne Estates and Crescent Meadows should share in the assessment.She asked why they werenít assessed for the sidewalks and the height.She stated people can walk behind her house and examine her yard.She indicated she had theft on November 2, after the road was put in.

 

John Prevedello, Eugene, stated when he purchased the property he wasnít aware of the assessment.He said the letter he received refers to benefit to property owners.He thought there was a benefit to the whole community.He thought anyone who drives the road benefited from it.He added the benefit for them on the adjacent properties doesnít exist.He stated he couldnít access the road any better. He said that a few property owners have been asked to foot the bill for something that is more of a whole community benefit.He wanted to see it completed.He noted there were no speed signs posted.He thought there should be a review of where some lights are placed.He added there are missing street signs that have not been replaced.He indicated that his bill was $3,200 and it was almost another yearís worth of property taxes.

 

Sharon Harmon, Eugene, indicated that North Game Farm Road went through her property.She said they face Coburg Road and is the triangular piece that has an assessment of $7,779.86.She thought it was exorbitant.She said they were given a driveway approach that goes into a tree and a mobile home.She commented that the improvement was supposed to be for the whole community.She didnít want the sidewalks or the road improved.She indicated that her family had owned the property since 1935.

 

Glenda Pochwaek, Eugene, said she purchased her property on June 1, 2002. She said their fence is along Game Farm Road and she didnít want the improvements.She noted there are five driveways along the whole stretch of the street.She didnít think the expense warranted the road improvement.She said they will never have access to the road.She commented that the lighting was poor and they have a light shining into their home.She thought they should have lighting where there is actually a driveway to get into the housing development.†† She was against having to pay for this improvement.

 

Richard Rayl, Eugene, said he owns two properties.He indicated he had to go a quarter of a mile to get to the sidewalk that benefits his property. He thought the properties that benefit are the ones who should be assessed a fee.He commented that being adjacent was not a benefit.He thought it should directly improve the property value. He thought the Board should waive the assessment because as a homeowner, he is not benefiting, the whole community benefits.He indicated that he actually had a negative benefit, not a positive one.

 

Paula Guitherie, Eugene, said she had lived on her property since January 2004.She indicated she designed her house and had it built on the lot.She commented that the road is a community road, not a property owner road.She said people can look into backyards because the sidewalks are so high.Her request is to look at assessing the community of Hawthorne Estates and Crescent Meadows, so the burden and the use of the road are for everyone and not just the property owners that are against the road.

 

Debbie Jeffries, Eugene, noted when North Delta Highway was improved from Beltline to Ayres Road, the City of Eugene paid for it.She said there was no assessment done on either side of the road.She added the city made the decision to only put sidewalks on one side.She noted the Lane County side has no sidewalks.

 

Rex Hughes, Eugene, reported he was the first one who built his home against Game Farm Road.He said at that time he questioned what the developments were at that time and was told there would be no development.He was satisfied with the improvement of the road. He noted there were numerous accidents before the street light was put in.He said they were tied by their CCRís for not being able to increase the fence height.He noted they had six thefts.He said speed down Game Farm Road is tremendous.He thought there was no benefit as a homeowner to use the property except for going by with a car. He thought the assessment should have been spread community wide.

 

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

 

Simas noted this was a County road that was built to urban standards on the west and rural standards on the east side.

 

Dwyer asked about the planning process with lights.He asked how this was a benefit.He asked what the assessment was to only the pertinent property owners and not the citizens who live there and benefit.He asked what the options were for the Board.

 

Simas responded that the way Lane Code Chapter 15.636 is written, it defines benefiting properties as those that abut the improvement and they are to be assessed for the sidewalk improvements and curb and gutters.

 

Dwyer asked why the City didnít recover the cost from the developers.

 

Simas explained that the subdivision was approved by the city. He noted the developer signed petitions saying they would allow the property to be subject to future assessments and that the owners would not protest the formation of an assessment district.He said it was a pre-existing part of the subdivision process.He noted that it should have been on their title policy when they purchased the property.He said they donít have properties that would qualify for large frontage deferrals.He said they need to specify the zoning as more than 200 feet of frontage and capable of being divided into four or more lots.He said the owner requested the assessment and they hadnít received a request for the large deferrals.He added it is subject to the first 100 feet of front and the rest would be deferred until it is developed.

 

Stewart asked if people were notified of the deferrals.

 

Simas said they didnít have any large frontage deferrals for Hawthorne Estates and Crescent Meadows.He said the others are eligible for deferrals because they donít take access.

 

Green didnít recommend that the County pay for the deferrals as they are assessments and they benefit.He thought it would improve the market value of the homes.

 

Morrison asked if this was the first notification the neighbors received with public hearings on the project and the probability of assessment.

 

Simas responded that he attended an open house that was held at Delta where the subject was brought up as part of the public notification process.

 

Morrison asked if they held a public hearing on this.

 

Stewart commented that the sidewalk didnít benefit these people.He said he had a hard time with this if the City didnít require it.

 

Dwyer commented that the road was already built and the neighbors didnít have the same opportunities as the people on Irvington.

 

Simas noted there was a public hearing on July 23, 2003 before the Board to consider the project.He added they had an open house and there was public notification prior to the adoption of the design concept.

 

Green commented that the commissioners who donít support this need to give staff direction to waive this and tell them where to get the money from.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-5-16.

 

Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

Dwyer asked where themoney would come from.

 

Simas responded that the money would come out of the road fund.

 

Green asked if there was any way to scale back certain properties.

 

Simas indicated he would have to review the parcels.He noted that those who donít take access of the properties get their properties deferred and they donít need to request that.

 

Vorhes noted a letter was sent out that described access in detail.He said if a property owner doesnít take access for 20 years, the assessment is waived.

 

VOTE: 1-4 (Morrison, Sorenson, Stewart and Dwyer dissenting).

 

Morrison wanted to know if and when public hearings took place.

 

Dwyer wanted to roll the deferral for a couple of weeks.

 

b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 06-4-5-17/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.).

 

Sorenson stated he had to leave early and he would watch the tapes.

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, explained that this property is six miles north of Florence on Highway 101, 114 acres in size, zoned F2.He noted it was acquired by Davidson Industries in 1961 and at that time there were no land use regulations.He said the applicant had provided an appraisal, a title report, deeds and had paid a fee.He noted that the appraisal and market analysis didnít demonstrate a connection between the reduction in the fair market value and the land use regulations.He said it might qualify for one template dwelling.He indicated they are requesting the ability to divide the property and develop it with multiple dwellings.He noted the only thing that had come into the record was information from the Forest Service.He said the Siuslaw National Forest noted that some of their concerns had to do with wildfire and stabilization of soils that might cause additional blow-down.He added the need for water might have to come off the national forest land.He noted those concerns were not part of the process today.He said they mentioned the Coastal Resources Management Plan.He looked into their records, plan designation and zoning of properties in the process and it had not resulted in the coastal resource management designation on the property.He added the Forest Service letter indicated that the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 as PL 104 150 of 1996, resulted in some level of federal revenue and approval.He added they have to comply with federal regulation and are exempt from Measure 37 claims.With regard to Lane Countyís process, it appeared they have a valid claim.

 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

 

David Crowell, Vice President, Davidson Industries, Mapleton, said he represented Davidson Industries.He noted they are a 51-year-old business in its fourth generation of ownership.He said they began manufacturing lumber in 1954.He said in 2004, they shut the sawmill down.He noted in addition to milling, Davidson Industries is a property owner.He noted the subject property was bought in 1961, 114 acres, located six miles north of Florence.He said the original intent was for development.He indicated there was no commercial timber harvest off the property in the 45 years they owned it.He said in 1980 with an eye toward development, they began the process to have it rezoned.He recalled in 1982 the property was designated RR2.He said at that point they stopped moving forward with development because of the national economy.He noted they were in a recession and the housing market was weak.They didnít think it was a wise time to begin development.He said in 1984 the County rezoned the property out of RR2 and into F2.He said as a result when the economy recovered and they were ready to resume development, the property could not be developed because of the new zoning.He added that prior to the 1980 recession, Davidson Industries developed two pieces of property, and both broke ground in the late 70ís.He hoped the Board would consider this claim.

 

Bill Potter, Eugene, stated he is an attorney for Davidson Industries.He agreed with the staff report.He noted that this property and owner qualifies under Measure 37.He requested a waiver.He added that it doesnít relieve them from compliance or federal regulations.

 

Lauri Segel, Eugene, commented that the claimant must have suffered a reduction in fair market value.She said with Davidson Industries, no evidence had been produced that proved that an enactment of forest zoning on forest land has the effect of reducing the highest and best use value of the forest land. She said according to County records, the property was worth about $255,000 last year and is worth about $300,000 today because farm and forest values in Oregon have been on the rise.She commented that most long-time property owners are submitting claims based on what they would be able to sell their property for if they received a waiver.She said it doesnít measure any reduction in value the property owner might have suffered as a result of an enactment of a regulation.She thought there was an increase in value created by land use laws, not measure of reduction. She said with the enactment of farm and forest zoning, the opportunity to subdivide and build on small parcels ended for all properties in the farm and forest zone.She said that Davidson Industries is eligible under Measure 37 to be compensated for the present value of the loss, if any, they experienced when the land use laws were adopted.She said the Davidson Measure 37 is to give them compensation for the effect of regulations enacted before the passage of Measure 37.She added it must show that an enactment or enforcement of the regulation reduced their property value.She said the claimant is then entitled to compensation for the present value of that loss.She commented that the County has the authority to establish and require that there be an established loss of value.

 

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

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-5-17.

 

Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Stewart was in favor of this.

 

Morrison commented that the wildfire potential was due to the neglect of managing the federal forest lands.She said they are paying for the Siuslaw through Title II funds.She noted this was not managed forest land and it had to be separated out.She supported the motion.

 

Dwyer asked if the state was the one that deprived them from building, then why their claim wasnít with the state.He didnít think the timber companies have the right to develop their land into homes.He asked about the protection of the people who were entitled to live without intrusions next to a farm.He thought, with the exception of the intent, that it had been demonstrated to develop the land.He thought there was intent.He commented that Measure 37 would have a negative effect in Oregon.

 

Sorenson stated to him it is not a matter of whether they follow the law or not, he said they are obligated to follow the law.Hethought in this case there were conflicting laws.He thought it was safe to vote no on this issue because of lack of evidence in support of the claim.He said they should be focusing on the fair market value to show the deprivation of the land.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

c. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 06-4-5-18/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 05-6305, Nail).

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, explained that this property is six miles west of Junction City, 18 acres in size, zoned exclusive farm use, EFU.He indicated they desired five lots that range in size from two to six acres.He said they acquired the property in 1971 and it was placed in a trust in 2002.He added that portions of the trust were retained by Eugene Nail and Maxine Nail.He said they paid the fees and provided an appraisal and the issue is the need to provide evidence to show that the trust is revocable and that Maxine is a trustee.He noted that Maxine acquired interest in the property in May 1971 and Eugene acquired an interest in the property in 2000.He added in 2004 it was put into a trust, with an undivided half-interest conveyed to Maxine and an undivided half-interestconveyed to Eugene.He said it was labeled as a revocable trust, but they didnít have any evidence and they are not sure who the trustees are.He said if that information could be provided today, then they would be able to move forward as having a valid claim.

 

Dwyer indicated that Howe never had the material. He asked the claimants if they had the information and how long it would take for counsel to evaluate it.

 

(There was a five minute break to review the materials.)

 

Vorhes said he reviewed the document and confirmed that it was a revocable trust.He said Maxine and Eugene acted as trustees.He added that Maxine is still a trustee and her interest in the property has continued to run.He thought for purposes of Measure 37 compensation ownership interest, she had the ownership.He noted when they get to the waiver side, there is an issue on whether Maxine will allow things that could be done on the property that would not be allowed as a waiver to Eugene. His recommendation was as far as the waiver, if they choose to waive, that there is a waiver to Maxine for development as she could have when she acquired an interest in the property, May 18, 1971 and the waiver for Eugene to December 21, 2000.He said it would affect valuation.

 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

 

Norm Waterbury, Eugene, said as evidenced by deed, this property had been in the family since 1910.He said it was purchased by an E.G. Buchanan,Maxineís great-grandfather and the property was transferred to Thomas C. Buchanan in 1939, Maxineís parents. With regard to Measure 37, he thought the property should go on beyond 1971, as it was in the same family.He said they already have three separate houses that exist on the property that are legal dwellings that have their own wells and septic systems in one lot.He indicated his clients wanted to be able to separate the properties to sell them.He added they also wanted to have their immediate relatives have a place to build on the property.

 

Geraldine Butler, Junction City, said when her dad inherited the property from the family, he gave 40 acres to her, 40 acres to her sister and 40 acres to his sister.She said her aunt sold her property.She said she was born and raised on the property.She said they have pride in her home and the neighborhood.She said the addition of Eugene to the family had been a plus.

 

Donald Buechler, Junction City, noted there are small farms and residential properties in the area on wells.He indicated that some of the wells have minimal water volume and additional wells are of concern.He was also concerned about adding septic fields and site drainage.He noted it is a low-land area and is wet during the wet season.

 

(Peter Sorenson left at 3:15 p.m.)

 

Susan De Bates, Junction City, stated her main concern is water, septic and the Ferguson Creek.She commented the majority of people who live on Ferguson Creek have the creek in their backyard and the area has been running low in the hot season.She noted that Ferguson Creek contamination was a concern of the development.She wanted to protect what was around her.She wanted to see them have the existing pieces of property go their way. She was against them adding more property.

 

Jerry Moffett, Junction City, said the property the applicant has does occasionally flood and others spent money in the late 40ís to change the channel of the creek to get rid of the water.

 

Maureen Vukovich, Junction City, indicated her lot is directly across the street.Her concerns were the same as others. She commented that once water is threatened, their quality of life is threatened and their property values go down.She indicated ownership ofher home for two years and had seen drought conditions and this past winter there was a lot of rain.She asked where the water would go once homes go on the land.

 

Dwyer noted there were two additional letters in the record they received that had the same concerns about the water issue.

 

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

 

Waterbury indicated the area was not a water limited quantity district.He added that it takes more water for agriculture use than it does for residential use.

 

Morrison indicated there were additional steps the applicant would have to go through to build the subdivision if the claim is approved today.She asked if they had to also go to the state to get this approved.

 

Vorhes said that state regulations had precluded what they had proposed and they will have to seek review and action by the state in order to come back to the County and submit the actual development request.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-5-18.

 

Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Morrison noted they had dealt with this on other claims that had been in front of them with regard to Measure 37.She said they didnít write the law; they are dealing with it.She commented that as these people move forward with whatever they are going to do, they will have steps to comply with.She thought at that time some of the issues that were raised will be addressed.

 

Stewart said the owner purchased the property in 1971 and at that time there was no land use regulations in effect.He thought there had been a loss in property value to them.He thought they met all the requirements.

 

Green asked if the title on the property was correct.

 

Vorhes said it confirmed the title is accurate. He said that Maxine continues to hold an interest as a trustee of the trust and it is revocable so the Board could act as if they had the ownership back in 1971.He said with regard to Eugene, the Board could make it more specific in the order that a waiver goes to Eugene as to the date he acquired the property.

 

Dwyer thought a person should be able to do what they were entitled to do when they bought the property, at the time of purchase that was reflected in the purchase price and in the zoning.

 

VOTE: 4-0 (Sorenson excused).

 

18. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Morrison stated she would be attending the Executive Board Meeting of the National Coalition on the Secure Rural Schools Act in Reno.

 

19. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

20. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary