JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS' MEETING
July 12, 2006
7:00 p.m.
Goodson Room, Delta Highway, Public Works
APPROVED 7/26/06

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.  Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer was also present.

Mayor Kitty Piercy opened the meeting for the City of Eugene.  Present: Bonny Bettman, David Kelly, Andrea Ortiz, Gary Pape, George Poling, Jennifer Solomon and Betty Taylor.  Chris Pryor was excused.

City Councilor John Woodrow opened the meeting for the City of Springfield.  Present: Anne Ballew, Tammy Fitch, Joe Pishioneri, and Dave Ralston.  Mayor Sid Leiken and Christine Lundberg were excused.

1. Public Comment

None.

2. Commercial and Industrial Land Study

Jeff Towery, Lane County Land Management, explained this presentation was to provide the elected officials with an overview of the database.  He noted that this was the first official presentation.  He indicated that the Technical Advisory Committee had seen the draft report and there was still some work that needed to be done before the report is finalized.

Towery stated the problem at the state level had been driven by the report of the industrial lands efficiency, the certified site initiative, and the governorís priority for economic development, state requirements for Goals 9 and 14.  He added that at the city and county level there had been policy issues that had been sidetracked by the data because it hadnít been comprehensive enough or was viewed as outdated, inaccurate or not enough agreement about the assumptions.

Towery thought they needed to address the first step of a better database, something that documented the quality and quantity of industrial and commercial lands.  He added they wanted something that was documented and credible.  He reported that they have a preliminary estimation of the supply and a framework for the assumptions they used to build the project that would support a buildable landsí analysis, if that was the direction the jurisdictions wanted to go.

Towery reported that Eco Northwest was the lead consultant.  He indicated they convened a Technical Advisory Committee from Eugene, Springfield, Lane County, Lane Metro Partnership and the Lane Council of Governments.  He noted the committee met seven times and there were additional meetings to verify the data that was presented.  He explained that this project was about developing a database that supplements existing data sets. He noted this was built from existing data, not a data collection exercise.

Bob Parker, Eco Northwest, explained their charge was to bring data sources together into a system that could be integrated and utilized by all of the jurisdictions.  He said they assembled the data sets.  He noted that some of the data came from LCOG but each jurisdiction also had information that was shared.  He noted a key item they spent a lot of time on was to identify where the land base was.  He said they went through a process of what was going to be in the inventory.  He indicated they used plan designations for commercial and industrial uses.  He commented that they were confident that what was in the study was as accurate as the data allowed it to be.

Parker explained that once they identified what was in the land base, (8,000 parcels and 10,000 independent land uses) they came up with a data model that placed all of this information together.  He said they used population tables, using GIS analysis and other information and developed a set of queries.  He noted the sources of information were from existing internal databases that the sponsoring agencies and LCOG maintained.  He added they also pulled from some existing exterior databases including maps and natural wetlands inventory.  He said they also queried a lot of new information from GIS analysis and proximity analysis. He noted they were basic calculations that allowed analysis of the improvement of land evaluation, how much area there would be constrained, or about the individual plan designations.

Parker noted the database is countywide, meaning it includes the Eugene Springfield urban growth boundary and unincorporated areas of the County.  He noted that it does not include the other jurisdictions.  He stated that they focused most of the verification activity on the Metro UGB.  He indicated they started with database evaluation and cross-referenced information tables to make sure the classifications were correct.  He reported they did a rapid visual assessment that overlaid the parcel boundary on top of recent aerial photos to get a sense of what was on the ground.  He added they also had a set of local development experts, realtors and developers give them advice about how the system might be structured and then strategies about how to make the database useful, to identify sites that meet specific criteria.

Parker reported they started with tax lots with land uses, tying it into the regional GIS information that LCOG manages and the land database the county assessor manages.  He said they used zoning, plan designation, existing land uses, tax lot jurisdiction, proximity information, the distance from I-5 and the distance from storm sewers and drains.  He added that they also looked at what it would be like with physical constraints.

Parker said (after talking with people about the project), there were conceptions that what they were building was more than what they were able to do with the scope of the project.  He said it is a compilation of existing data sets and a snapshot of the land at a point in time.  He added it is a relational database that exists in tables and could be mapped.  He stated that data could be queried and mapped by GIS for data and analysis.

Parker commented that this was not a policy statement or decision; it is to be a database.  He noted it is not a final buildable lands inventory that any of the sponsoring agencies could adopt.  He added it was something that does not automatically update.  He commented that this was not web faced or a mapping interface and it was not a comprehensive inventory of all the cities of Lane County.  He said they developed a tool that the jurisdictions could use to analyze the land base and allows for different assumptions to be used.  He noted it is updateable and is a system that could be enhanced.

With regard to the Metro UGB, Parker explained there are about 77 square miles, 55 percent of which is in the Eugene city limits and includes 80,000 tax lots.  He added that not all land in the UGB is in tax lots.  He noted some of it is in right of way and water and the rail yard.  He said they found vacant and unconstrained land by jurisdiction.  He added that unconstrained land does not equate to buildable.  He added they found 1,518 acres where most of the land was in industrial designation.

Terry Moore, ECO Northwest, commented that a discussion about policy was difficult if there was disagreement about facts.  He said they tried to establish a policy neutral fact base so everyone agreed that if they looked at a parcel, that they would see the same thing.  He noted the next steps for the database is to determine if it is something that LCOG maintains, as they have in the past.  He asked if there was going to be a consortium put together, and what the protocol is for updating and how it was going to be funded.  He indicated that it was a static database that is a snapshot and if they want to continue to use it in the future, they would have to update it.  He noted things are organized so modules could be plugged into them.  He added it was updateable but it is a policy decision about whether it is worth updating.

With regard to the land need analysis, Moore explained that it looks at all the land supply there is and all of the need for the land, and then it is matched.  He said when they do a land needs analysis, they both establish the need and expand the UGB or they havenít established the need.  He said to do that they would have to know everything about the supply of all kinds of land:  residential, commercial, and industrial; and the demand. He said the next policy decision would be definitions and assumptions.  He said they could tell with some level of accuracy the lay of land, but whether it makes the land unbuildable is a policy decision.  He said they did not make those decisions; they developed a tool that would allow the jurisdictions to make those decisions.  He said what is buildable and redevelopable comes with policy decisions. He commented that the hard part was getting agreement on those policy decisions.  He said they would have to have a demand analysis for the Goal 9 economic side, to look at the employment side to see how much land was needed and then they could discuss the commercial and industrial supply and demand.

Kelly asked when they used the rapid visual assessment if they used all the parcels in the database.

Parker indicated that they did use all 8,000 parcels.

Kelly asked what level of detail it goes into.

Parker explained the first step they went through was rule-based methodology.  He said they selected all parcels that had zero improvement value.  He said they produced a set of maps that was circulated among the city staff and give them a set of comments back.  He commented that the process was important because in the absence of physically getting out on the ground and looking at the land, that by having many people review this, there is a high degree of accuracy.

Kelly was disappointed because a number of things that were called for in the RFP were not in the database.  He noted there were no street addresses in the database and there isnít an on-site service in the database that was called for as well as public roads. He said from the standpoint of measuring for redevelopment potential, he noted there is the measure of a developed service area that was called for, but how much a parcel is covered by development and structures on the property and assessed valuation was not captured.  He asked why those werenít captured.

Parker said they agreed it didnít make sense to replicate RLID.  He noted that the information with the address file and assessed values are in the RLID database that could be joined into the system.  He indicated that the system does include property values but for RLID it doesnít have the square footage for commercial lands.  He added that Lane County does not have a building layer yet and creating that would be a large undertaking.

Piercy asked if there was a uniform way this assessment was done throughout the state.

Parker said they had looked at the academic sites and types of projects.  He said that LCOG decided to create a land use layer in the GIS system.  He said that means for each tax lot they have land uses identified.  He added that Metro in Portland decided to create an overlay.  He said they used the same framework they used in cities across the state.  He indicated that there was no agreed upon threshold on what is good enough.  He thought this study was a lot better than other studies that are done.

Kelly asked how they derived partially vacant land when they stated there was no building layer.

Parker responded that they used the rapid visual assessment technique.  He indicated that it was an estimation.  He added when it looked like something had a building on it and 50 percent or less of the land was covered, they put it into the partially vacant category.

Kelly noted on page 16, the table looked at improvement to land value ration showing a total of 4,364 acres that were analyzed.  He said when they go back to page 14; it showed a total of 6,577 built acres.  He asked what happened to the other 2,000 acres.

Parker indicated that he would have to check on the figures.

Kelly recalled the RFP asked for evaluation of land assembly potential.  He didnít see that in the report.

Parker said they didnít do that specific analysis.  He noted one of the things they were able to do was to identify tax lots that are adjacent to the existing tax lots.  He indicated that they have a proximity analysis to create those land assemblies.

With regard to page 22, under redevelopable land, Kelly was concerned that if this was tied down by historic trends and setting a percentage, they would be missing the analysis.  He wanted to explore what government incentives might make it economically more feasible.

Moore explained that their buildable lands database would allow assumptions about if the land might be redevelopable.  He said the problem of working on the supply side is they are in the position of establishing a cut off point.  He stated what had been recommended and accepted at the state level in their guidebook of industrial and commercial land analysis is to deal with the revedelopment issue on the demand side.

With regard to the Intergovernmental Agreement, Kelly noted that it mentioned the database that was produced was a public asset and would be accessible by their website.  He asked how and when it would take place.

Parker indicated it was something they hadnít done yet and something they had struggled with.  He stated that they donít have the budget to build a web interface for the project.  He added that the City of Portland had spent $7 million on the map system.

Bettman commented that she had a different take on infill coming out of the supply side and putting it on the demand side.  She thought it was a policy decision when looking at it in terms of historical redevelopment for infill.  She commented they are putting in place a policy that elevates redevelopment and infill as a way to accommodate growth.  She thought it should be reflected on the supply side.  She indicated that it was still a debate on whether it is a policy or technical decision.  She noted that any property within the Metro UGB that is not in a tax lot is not in the inventory.  She didnít understand why it was left out.

Parker indicated that they left it out as a pragmatic decision. He said it is not in a tax lot.  He said they wanted to refocus on existing lands.  He said they didnít include the Fairgrounds or 4 J schools as part of the land base.  He indicated there was no efficient way to accommodate them in a database the way it is currently structured.

Bettman asked if the land available was a conservative estimate.

Parker responded that they were not saying those lands are technically available.  He said they are vacant and unconstrained.

Moore agreed that they bumped up against the policy part from the analytical part.   He agreed that was a policy decision.  He said the question on redevelopment and whether it is done from the demand or supply side is not reflected in the database.  He noted the database doesnít really state what is and is not redevelopable.  He said what the database says is if they want to use land to improvement ratios, there are different ratios and they will get different amounts of redevelopable land if they do it that way.  He agreed that it was a policy decision.  He commented that past trends donít dictate the future and the future could change.  He said they have a snapshot as to how much land they have.  He said they look at it without a policy overlay and it looks like it is vacant.  He said as a policy decision, they could come back giving the policies that the jurisdictions are adopting.  With regard to accuracy, they were confident about the narrower definition of technically what is on the land.  He said the data they are looking at is accurate.

Bettman recalled when the last inventory was done, there was a projection made about how much commercial and industrial land would be needed for the next 20 years.  She asked what the existing amount of commercial industrial lands they have was compared to what they projected was going to be needed at this snapshot in time.

Parker responded that they did not do that.  He noted the last study was done in 1992 and adopted.

Bettman explained that it takes into account a variable that is not reflected in this.  She thought it was an important variable to the extent to which there are rezones industrial to commercial and residential to commercial with Measure 37 and how that will affect the supply and demand side.  She commented that was property that was not being looked at as redevelopable commercial industrial property that might be related to residential, but they didnít look at it at that framework.

Moore said they didnít look at the whole picture, adding residential into it.  He said if they do add residential in, they would have to do a full land supply analysis and if they are taking residential land that is in the residential land database in accommodating population growth and converting it to commercial land that is now accommodating employment growth, they would be short on the residential side.  He commented that offsetting that depends upon making judgments about what densities are shifted back and forth.

Bettman asked if they could look at historic figures, how much other zones were converted to commercial and industrial and if it would continue to happen.  She commented that it creates capacity.

Dwyer commented that that decreases other capacity.

Bettman indicated they were looking at the discrete part of industrial and commercial lands that is a source of capacity.  She said for the purposes of this exercise, they have to look historically at how much capacity is provided and to project that out if they were going to be consistent with the other assumptions they made.

Moore said they are trying to develop a fact base.  He said the facts are they have the land they can see and what it would accommodate. He stated it was not clear to them how they would get it into the supply side of the equation.  He said they could observe that the land is either vacant, developed or partially developed and how much of that counts as available to accommodate the demand as a policy decision.  He didnít know what variable they would put into the supply side of the equation.  He thought they could have some kind of an analysis they had not done that would look at variables and whether a particular parcel is good for infill based on certain characteristics and they hadnít done that analysis.

Parker said they have tools that will make the process simpler.  He thought the most complicated thing to happen was the land base changes. He said parcelization could occur where they have records that donít have the proximity data to them.  He said the first part about permits was simple, the second part of the plan changes was more complicated but they needed the tools as part of the process.

Ralston thought before they could make regular assumptions about what is possible for the future they need to know what the residential land supply is.  He said if there is going to be redevelopment and zone changes, they need to know what they all are.  He stated that Springfield was moving forward with the residential land study.  He thought Eugene should do the same thing.  He said since they had done the work and considered what industrial land was; they could fill in the gaps with residential land.  He thought they should move on to the next step easier.

Parker stated the sponsoring agencies were thinking about how to structure a system.  He said things were included in the industrial and commercial database that werenít germane to residential propertyís proximity.  He said with residential properties, they have physical constraint with information.  He commented that the complications on the residential side on what some jurisdictions call underbuildable is messy because they have parcels located in a zone where the minimum lot zone is 7,000 square feet and they have an 18,000 square foot parcel that couldnít be divided.

Fitch asked if the database could handle differential decisions.

Moore indicated the database is able to deal with that because they can identify the parcels as Springfield parcels and have different criteria.  He said there is a policy question in the Metro Plan about whether as part of the Eugene UGB, they could have different assumptions on what is buildable and what is not.

Pishioneri asked if they could differentiate buildable land that is adjacent to the Eugene City limits versus inside the city limits.

Parker said the city limits have layers to the extent that the boundaries are correct.  He noted the issues are technical and complicated, that planning staff are aware of complicated boundaries.  He said they have the ability to query on geographical areas.  He noted when they talk about unincorporated; they said it is everything outside of the metro UGB.

Ralston thought they needed to do a residential land study as the next step.

Dwyer said if they wanted technical things that there was a price for it.  He noted that Springfield was embarking on its own residential land study and they make their own decision for that. He thought they could have the consultants tell them about what the logical steps are and what the costs would be for those steps and they could give a report as to the magnitude of the costs and then determine if the jurisdictions want to do them collectively.

Ralston commented if they determine there is a shortage of either industrial or residential land, they still couldnít do anything about it.  He wanted to know how they were going to proceed.

Kelly hoped they would hear back on how much it would cost and about its web interface.  He noted on a policy level there are redesignations but he thought there were a few big pieces of land.  He added there are small residential parcels.  He thought with the next steps they could do commercial and industrial without going forward with residential.  He wanted the next step to get from this to a full Goal 9 process.  He said these are the major policy decisions and this was additional information to gather and bring back to each jurisdiction to get feedback and then determine where to go from there.

Moore thought that at some point it would be necessary to have an evaluation on whether they need to expand the UGB or not and come to a determination about what decision they make.  He said it was a step toward having the information available to be able to make that decision.   He said an analyst could answer policy questions like what happens if something is 200 feet away instead of 250 feet to a sewer.  He said the information is there to ask those questions.  He said the question is should they do this for residential lands and how much more accurate do they want to make the industrial and commercial inventory and how much money they want to spend in keeping it as accurate as it is now.

Woodrow commented that this was a draft.  He asked about direction from the elected officials.

Dwyer responded that they wanted them to qualify the next logical steps and put an estimate of costs, and then have a discussion on those next steps.

Ballew thought this might be an expensive database to maintain.  She wondered what the benefit would be for keeping this.

Bettman said the question posed to the Eugene City Council was whether to have another work session as a council to discuss it.  She said the policy makers need to meet with their bodies and decide what kind of direction they want their staff to go to.  She didnít see any reason to speculate what they are going to do.  She thought it was a decision for each jurisdiction.

Kelly asked questions about looking at the database.  He wanted to hear back from the Metro Partnership and the Chamber about when they review the report how valuable the database is, if it could be changed and the value of retaining it.

Moore said they could look at other uses for the database to make it useful.  He stated that they hadnít discussed any estimates yet until the jurisdictions know all the options.

Parker indicated they had discussed this as an economic development tool.  He noted that Jack Roberts, Metro Partnership, had been in discussion with them about the process.

Fitch wanted to know what the cost was to date, and what it might cost percentage-wise if it was updated.

Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting for the Lane County Board of Commissioners at 8:35 p.m.

Mayor Kitty Piercy adjourned the meeting for the Eugene City Council.

City Council John Woodrow adjourned the meeting for the Springfield City Council.

 

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary