November 28, 2006

6:00 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 3/12/2008


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.



a.  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 (PA 06-6144, Wildish) (Continued Hearing: November 29, 2006, 1:30 pm).

Dwyer asked if there were any ex parte contacts.

Stewart disclosed that he had been acting as the Board’s designee to talk with the Wildish family about potential purchase of this property. He kept all of his meetings and progress updated with the Board.

Green indicated he received e-mails from Sue Boling and Mona Lindstromberg.

Kent Howe, Land Management, reported that this is a 1,368 acre property along the middle fork of the Willamette River south of Springfield.  He indicated the property is comprised of 20 tax lots, acquired between 1966 and 1971.  He said the property is mostly in the Eugene Springfield Metro Plan and 147 acres are in the Rural Comprehensive Plan. He indicated the property is designated a combination of sand and gravel, forest and agriculture.  He added it is currently zoned sand and gravel F1, non impacted forest land, F2, non impacted forest land and exclusive farm use.  He said the applicant wants to subdivide the property into lots that range from one to four acres and develop approximately 300 dwellings.  He noted at the time the property was acquired, half was unzoned and the rest was zoned agriculture timber grazing.  He said there wasn’t a minimum land division size but the subdivision ordinance applicable at that time had a one acre minimum for areas that weren’t served by water and sewer.  He said the applicants provided the deeds and appraisal, alleging a reduction in value of $15.4 million.

Howe said the issue with this claim that is different is there were four parcels acquired through a stock subscription.  He said the parcels total 222 acres out of 1,368.  He added the four parcels were not conveyed by deed.  He noted the beneficial interest in the parcels was transferred by the stock subscription agreement of the Wildish Land Company Board of Directors on December 31, 1966.  He said since that time, the Wildish Land Company has exercised all the tenants of land ownership.  He said they paid the taxes, controlled, managed and used the parcels as its own since December 1, 1966 and copies of the property tax payments were submitted with the claim.  He noted the County property tax records show the Wildish Land Company as the current owner of all of the subject property including the four undeeded parcels. He said the Board needs to determine if the stock subscription agreement conveys an ownership interest in the parcels to Wildish Land Company.  He said staff thinks this is a valid Measure 37 claim and if the Board concurs with the evidence that there is a reduction in fair market value resulting from the restricting land use, their recommendation is that it could be waived.

Dwyer stated the current zoning is there because they requested that it be zoned that way.  He said if it remained AGT and they hadn’t requested a zoning change, he would have agreed to the claim

Sorenson asked if the property was in the floodplain.

Howe said just because it is in the floodplain doesn’t mean it is not a valid Measure 37 claim.  He said they would provide a map where it is located. He said there is a process to go through to develop in the floodplain.  He said if the Board finds this to be a valid claim and they waive the land use regulations, FEMA requirements would still be in place. 

Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.

Steve Cornacchia, Eugene, stated he represents the applicant. He said the applicant is Wildish Land Co.  He said it is the successor of TC Wildish Partnership.  He said tomorrow if there are more questions about the stock subscription and the relationships, Jim Wildish could discuss the issues.  He agreed with the staff report.  He said 180301, lot 3500 is part of the stock subscription that was part of the Silva Land Contract.  He said interest in property is not only conveyed by deed.  He said ownership interest is what the focus should be on.  He indicated what the measure said is for the purposes of a waiver, the regulations are waived against the current owner.  He said the definition for the current owner is the owner of the property or any interest therein.  He said with the stock subscription, it is a third interest, referred to as a beneficial interest.  He said it often takes the form of a trust.  He said since 1966 the Wildish Land Co.  has controlled this land, paid the taxes on it as testimony to their ownership interest.  He said they take the position that if they look at the way in which the conveyances occurred on the same day, the stock subscription and the conveyances all occurred on December 31, 1966. He said it was a family exercise and it remains a family ownership. He recalled the AGT and the subdivision ordinances allowed one acre residential use on this property and one acre parcels with residential use in an AGT are worth more than the property zoned sand and gravel.

Dwyer didn’t know how someone could claim they lose value, when at their request it was zoned the highest and best use for the land.

With regard to the floodplain issues, Cornacchia indicated the only properties to be considered that could not receive a waiver are those lands in the floodway.  He indicated code allows for development in the floodplain.  He said a Measure 37 claim is waiving certain regulations but not others.

Chuck Thompson, Appraiser, stated he did the appraisal.  He noted the sand and gravel zoned portion of the property is mined out but there is still gravel that could be taken out but it wouldn’t be economically feasible to do it.

Dwyer asked how there was a diminution of value when they zoned something pursuant to the owner’s request and they extract the product to the point where it is no longer economical to extract and now want to make a claim that they are deprived of something.

Thompson responded that money that was made during the mining operation over the years has nothing to do what the property is worth now.  He said it is based on its highest and best use.  He valued the land under the existing zoning and zoning entitlements that could have been had under the AFT 1 zoning and he estimated there could have been 300 lots.

Sorenson asked how he determined the reduction in fair market value.

Thompson said since the property is mined out, he described it as low utility land.  He judged the land to be on the as is basis, and he used comparables of other low utility land.  He said to get the value as zoned AGT 1, he estimated they could get 300 lots and it would cost so much to produce the lots over a seven year projection.  He said the highest and best use is development into 300 lots.  He said the property was large, multi-zoned and unique.

Cornacchia commented that when they are talking about 1400 acres, only 200 have been mined at a shallow level.  He said the deposits are not by the confluence.  He said they are 15 to 25 feet deep deposits and the topography going east diminishes the ability to mine it at all.  He noted the sand and gravel land totals 450 acres.

William Montgomery, stated he is the neighbor of the Wildish family and they are good neighbors.  He said he looked through the material and appraisal and it is hard to see where they don’t have a valid claim.  He commented that the land is beautiful and knows why they would want to get a fair value.  He encouraged the Board to take them up on their offer. 

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

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 7:00 p.m.


Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary