BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

May 9, 2007

following Board of Health

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 10/22/2008

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor and Peter Sorenson present.  Bobby Green, Sr., was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

There will be an Emergency Business item and there will be an item 6 b. Jim Gillette Letter and  a Siuslaw Watershed Grant request.  Fleenor noted a correction for 6 a.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

George Goldstein, Swiss Home, stated since 1979 he has owned a small farm with a residence on it.  He stated that his residence was vandalized and another county would not let him repair the property and he canít live on his land.  He said that he lost his right to farm.  He said Oregon has one of the most non-sensible land use laws in the country.  He said it is about individuals like him.  He said Measure 37 was supposed to rectify this and it should not have been necessary.  He said the legislature dropped the ball on this.  He commented that it had nothing to do with the environment.  He said Douglas County on their own has enacted some laws to try to rectify things.  He wanted the Board to have a conversation with Oregonians in Action.

 

Jim Gillette, Eugene, said he never got a hearing, he had a choice of either paying $16,000 or $33,000.  He asked the Board to show him some evidence that is true that he is guilty and he will leave.  He thought staff was either dishonest or incompetent.  He said he doesnít  want a war with the County.  He wanted justice.  He said he paid a deposit of $16,000 and it was illegal to make him tear down a building. 

 

Rick Geoffroy, Eugene, said he has been with Gillette and they complied for everything except for the cabin.  He said that Gillette gave him the cabin to make an equine center because he rescues horses.  He noted there is a building on his property and he didnít know why they canít use it as an equine center.  He said he wants the building and he will do whatever it takes to get it as an equine center.  He wanted to know what he can do to change it.

 

Debbie Purvis, Eugene, commented that there is inconsistency with activities in Land Management.  She said complaints have not been responded to by the County.  She said she is a real estate broker and she has witnessed people who are frustrated.  She thought there was preferential treatment by Land Management to certain individuals.  She thought Gillette was being fined for the same type of activity that another file is going by.  She wanted to create public awareness and a group to identify why problems persist.

 

Scott Bartlett, Eugene, said one of the recommendations by the Animal Regulation Task Force was to have LCARA accept credit card payments and to be on line.  He said Dwyer had spoken with the Assessor on placing notifications in the annual County tax about dog license requirements. He thought they were turning away tens of thousands of dollars because of the inability to accept credit card payments.  He thought they could generate half of the subsidies for LCARA.  He thought it was long overdue.

 

With regard to inserting information into the tax bills, Van Vactor stated he wanted to speak with Anette Spickard, Assessor, to see if it could be done.  He said this went through the technology committee and he will find out the status.

 

Dwyer thought Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services, needs to get the licenses on line.  He added they have the credit card capabilities in Parks.

 

Sorenson said he met with the Assessor and learned about the issue.  He indicated that it is up to the Board to decide whether they want to pursue this or not.  He said it would up to the Board to sit with the Assessor and make a plan between now and when the property tax bills go out.  He wanted a work session with Mike Wellington and the Assessor to work out putting the announcements in the property tax bill.

 

Andy Stahl, Eugene, distributed a magazine about what they are doing to get Secure Rural Schools.  He indicated that Oregon counties have had a difficult time  and their county budgets are important. He said monies from Title II have been vital for the Siuslaw National Forest.  He commented that the United Way and Earth Share are not in conflict.

 

Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, said he has known homeless people that Jim Gillette has helped on his property over the years.  He commented that what has been taking place in Salem this week is a bombshell about stem cell research to commercial biotech in futuristic neighborhoods.  He said the Department of Energy and the universities want to get rid of sprawl and take the resources and revitalize underutilized waterfronts into high performance science centers.   

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:  None.

 

B. County Administration

 

1) ORDER 07-5-9-1/In the Matter of Amending Order No. 07-3-14-11: ďOrdering the Formation of the Row River Valley Water District.Ē

 

C. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 07-5-9-2/In the Matter of Awarding Requirement Contracts to Various Contractors to Establish Unit Prices for Liquid Asphalt Materials, Delivery, CRC Distributor and Operator Needs During the Fiscal Year 2007-2008, Contract No. 07/08-M&S-52.

 

2) ORDER 07-5-9-2/In the Matter of Entering Into a Revenue Agreement With the City of Springfield For Engineering and Materials Testing Services Not to Exceed Amount of $150,000.

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

Fleenor reported that the Board has received a request for a letter of commitment of $5,000 from the Siuslaw Watershed Council.  He indicated the money would be used as part of a grant application being submitted by the Siuslaw Watershed Council to the National Forest Foundation.  He said the grant application is for $35,000 and requires a $5,000 match.  He noted the Siuslaw Watershed Council thought they had secured the $5,000, but at the last moment the funds were no longer available.  He indicated the County has $5,000 remaining in reserves for economic development projects and using the $5,000 for the project would leverage money on a seven to one basis.  He stated the grant application is due May 18.

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Ecnomic Development, said the grant application is to hire an economic development person to focus on the Mapleton area on five former mill sites and projects that could occur on those former mill sites.  He said they are looking for biofuels,  and businesses that could use forest products in a sustainable manner to enhance tourism.

 

Dwyer said it was not the Countyís responsibility to do this.  He asked why the County should help them.

 

Fleenor commented that it was typical of the granting process.  He said they need economic development in Mapleton.

 

Dwyer said it was not typical and the County doesnít backfill matches for people who apply for grants and donít have the money for matches.  He wanted to reserve the $5,000 for the regulation process.

 

Stewart explained that there is a process they have to go through.  He thought they could  convene a quick Economic Development Standing Committee meeting to review this next Wednesday.

 

Sorenson asked where the money would come from

 

McKenzie Bahr said there is $5,000 in video lottery funds and they have funds leftover from the Coburg and Row River projects.  He indicated that this grant is a two year grant of $35,000 the first year and $35,000 the second year, if goals are met.

 

Dwyer resented that they didnít have a match for this and the County is the match.  He asked where their money was in the first place.

 

Fleenor wasnít sure.

 

Dwyer didnít know of an emergency process for money from economic development.  He said  Fleenor should look for the money from funding returned from the Coburg project.

 

Sorenson thought it was exciting that a citizen group makes an application and a commissioner is willing to bring it up.  He said they need to be more responsive to this.  He thought it was important to invite the people to a meeting.  He said they are trying to put people to work.

 

Fleenor explained that it was not necessarily for forest restoration.  He said it is economic develpoment as they are trying to use abandoned mills and this is a first step.  He thought they should consider the proposals.

 

MOTION: to approve $5,000 from an emergency contingency within the general expense to sign contracts for services related to the project.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Stewart said he would support the motion but in the future they need to get these to the Board as soon as possible.

 

Dwyer still wanted to know where the money was coming from.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Dwyer dissenting).

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Dwyer said ads have been in the paper and his name was used.  He said it is a political action committee and they are using no county money, time or resources.  He said they omitted things including the Secretary of State saying there were no violations in the last election.  He commented that newcomers to Lane County want to Californicate Lane County.

 

Sorenson said the Secretary of State has sent a letter to the County asking the County to change its website or the materials the County is putting out regarding the two ballot measures in front of the public.  He thought it would be useful for the Board to obtain this information because there is energy being expended on this.

 

Van Vactor indicated the State has charts on words they prefer.  He said they didnít change the substance that public information was giving out.  He said they modified the information on the website on Friday.

 

Dwyer thought it was intentional, malicious or both.

 

Stewart said he contacted Matt Cooper on Friday at 6:30 p.m.  Stewart said he was in an Executive Session for Metropolitan Wastewater and when he got out of the meeting he called Matt Cooper immediately.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 07-5-9-4/In the Matter of Recognizing Florence's 100th Year Rhododendron Festival Anniversary Celebration.

 

MOTION: to approve RESOLUTION AND ORDER 07-5-9-4.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Fleenor read the resolution into the record.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. Jim Gillette Letters

 

Stewart explained the first letter was requesting they move the liens of the tax lots that didnít have alleged violations.  He noted the only tax lots that have alleged violations are tax lots 407, 405 and 404.  He said the second letter is to avoid the Sheriffís sale. 

 

Liane Richardson, Assistant County Counsel, said with regard to the lien request, they met with staff and verified there are valid liens on all seven tax lots and they have a Writ of Execution for the foreclosure sale.  She added that three of the tax lots have houses and some of the violations were for unpermitted construction.  She noted the other tax lots that have liens on them had violations for other varoius activities such as mobile homes placed on them and unpermitted camper shells and paintball.  She said all seven lots have valid liens on them currently.  She stated with  Bobís house on lot 4007, the Board could choose to modify the agreement that was entered into with Gillette.  She said in speaking with staff, the process would not be able to be completed by the 21st if they allowed him to move in the direction of an equine facility.  She said there would have to be an extension of the deadline if they allow him to do that.

 

Dwyer commented that sometimes citizens are at a disadvantage with government.  He wanted to finalize this in a manner that is fair and equitable.

 

Stewart asked if it was possible for the property to change to an equine building.

 

Craig Starr, Land Management, stated that Gillette has to go through a review process.  Starr indicated that if Gillette were to pursue it agressively and to comply with getting an equine facility, he could be complete through demolition of the residence construction in a period of 120 days.

 

Fleenor thought Gillette had a big heart with big intentions, but the history over the last decade showed he did bait and switch.  He said if they allow this to go forward, he will ask for a permit to ask for something else.  He said they need to have a difinitive resolution.  He said he doesnít like being manipulated.  He said if Gillette would honor the contract he signed, he would be relieved.  He thought the house could be used for something else at another location on the property.

 

Van Vactor didnít know which tax lot Gillette was thinking about settling

 

Wilson thought the intention to sell another lot to a neighbor would end up in a lot line adjustemnt.

 

Richardson stated when the judgment is satisfied, the liens would be removed for the properties.

 

Wilson indicated that this has been going on for a long period of time.  She stated that Gillette signed a settlement agreement.  She recalled he didnít like the first agreement.  She said that he signed another agreement and he will have the opportunity to fulfill the agreement.  She added that if he doesnít fulfill the agreement, he will have another year to redeem himself from a foreclosure sale.  She believed there was compliance except to the structure to make it an equine facility.  Her recommendation was to stay the course and see if he is willing to fulfill the settlement agreement he signed.

 

 

MOTION: to make a change to prevent the Sheriffís sale.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Dwyer stated they need to be reasonable as it is a valuable building.  He said Gillette signed the settlement agreement under duress because he had a timeline for a foreclosure that was looming against him.

 

Stewart said if Gillette could bring his property into commpliance by the date requested and the only thing he needed to get was a demolition permit, he wanted Gillette to work with staff to get it permitted.

 

Fleenor said they are constantly being fooled by Gillette, as he changes the plan and never gets into compliance.

 

Sorenson said when Gillette was out of complaince with the issue, there were penalities as a result of the program that should be fixed.  He said they made an adjustment to offer to settle.  Sorenson doesnít have sympathy knowing there was a series of violations getting to where they are today.  He added they have had ten years of dancing around and he was tired of sending out mixed messages to the citizens of Lane County.

 

Dwyer thought Gillette should file a Measure 37 claim.

 

Stewart indicated that he has been working with Gillette and he has come a long way.  He doesnít have a problem giving him until September 15 to get permitted.

 

Fleenor asked what would be entailed with the existing settlement agreement.

 

Richardson stated that they would change the terms so Gillette would have to September 15, 2007 to finalize the permit.  She said he would have to remove the building to get into compliance as an equine building. She said they could continue the sale from May 31 to September 15.

 

Fleenor asked what happens on September 14.

 

Wilson anticipated that if they were to take action to extend the time to  September 15, they would have heard the results of litigation on the Writ of Review.  She doesnít know what the outcome would be or whether Gillette would seek a different modification.

 

Starr stated it was possible to put in interim check points that Gillette needs to meet to see if he is making reasonable progress.  Starr would require plans or drawings to show how Gillette is modifying the structure.  He added that it would have to be completed within a time frame and if that doesnít happen, they could resume the earlier action.

 

Fleenor stated that he would support the motion if it had benchmarks.

 

Dwyer wanted to include benchmarks.

 

Sorenson asked about the settlement agreement and how many hours County Counsel spent in dealing with the aftermath.

 

Richardson said they spent 15 to 20 hours.

 

Sorenson thought Gillette could pay for the time.

 

Wilson said there would be consequences if he does not bring things up to code.

 

Van Vactor indicated that staff could present a revised letter with costs to bring back in the afternoon.

 

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. REPORT/Earth Share of Oregon/Charitable Contributions Campaign.

 

Van Vactor reported that Earth Share wanted to see where employees were in support of their organization. He had a request from Earth Share to reconsider the policy. He recalled that they sent out information for employees to vote on.

 

Wilson said the Board needs to focus on the purposes for the charitable program.  She said that the charitable program is a non-public forum. She said that whatever decision the Board makes, they need to exercise some judgment and discretion that they are not motivated by a particular point of view.  She said because a person or a particular charity has a particular speech right, it is not what is to be focused on.  She said they focus on the purposes they wish to achieve.

 

Lucy Vinis, Earth Share, said there wasnít anything new to add since she was in front of the Board..  She said that public and private companies have had a commitment to the United Way and shared concerns about expanding the focus of the work from Health and Human Services to conservation work. She said that donors who have a long standing support for Shelter Care or Food for Lane County would not diminish their support because they now have the opportunity to also give to the forest service or other charities.  She said that Earth Share earns about nine percent for administation.  She asked the Board give County employees the opportunity to donate to Earth Share.

 

Steve Carmichael, United Way, described the United Way campaign. He reported that any organization that has a non-profit can be named by an employee, it wasnít limited to just United Way organizations.  He added that Earth Share would be able to receive money currently.  He indicated in the last campaign, no employee chose to give to Earth Share  He said the dollars do stay in Lane County from United Way.  He recalled the survey done in 2002 stated that 56 percent of employees said they would not want Earth Share or environmental groups for charitable giving, they want the funds going to people in need.  He said from United Way, he had concerns about other organizations coming to the Board saying they want to be specifically listed.

 

Stewart asked since he was a United Way Board member if he should abstain from voting.

 

Wilson said there was no need for him to abstain.  She indicated it is an opportunity for the Board to continue or provide a change in the policy.

 

Dwyer commented that if no one does anything, there will be no change.

 

Sorenson wanted to see them broaden the pool for charities.  He said it made sense that the dollars would go up.

 

MOTION: to move to expand the charitable giving campaign and direct staff to come back with a plan to do involve Earth Share.

 

Sorenson MOVED.

 

Motion dies for lack of a second.

 

 

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

c. ORDER 07-5-9-5/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 3 of the Lane Manual to Move the Function of Animal Control from the Department of Management Services to the Department of Health & Human Services  (LM 3.084, 3.094)

 

Van Vactor indicated that he called Cheryl Dwyer, the president of AFSCME and he e-mailed Jim Steiner of AFSCME, to attend a meeting with LCARA staff.    He indicated that AFSCME representatives were unable to attend.  He said they went over the reasons for the change.  He thought the logic of having the function reassigned might be a good time for a new look and new management.  He assured staff they did great work and they were much appreciated.  He thought staff felt isolated.  His recommendation to the Board is to make the change. He said the code provides the current director could delegate to Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services,  the authority to continue the enforcement powers.

 

Fleenor said that LCARA could be facing a significant reduction in FTEís.  He asked how they could use volunteers to keep the facility open during the period of time that Lane County might not get revenue. He asked how aggressive Rockstroh would be in recruiting and using volunteeers.

 

Rockstroh responded that they have contract requirements.  He said if they contract out, they would have to go through a process.  He thought they might have to cut in several areas in the County.  He commented that business might be done differently and they could use volunteers, but volunteers take time and effort  and they need someone to manage them.  He said it would be tough to say they are replacing union work with volunteers.  He agreed using volunteers was better than closing LCARA down.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-5-9-5.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor was concerned about the move from Management Services to Health and Human Services.  He commented that they are taking from a small department and putting it into a large department.  He didnít want to see it lost in the shuffle.  He hoped Rockstroh would spend quality time making sure the transition goes as smooth as possible.  He hoped they werenít losing the capital improvements by taking it away from Management Services.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

 

8. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 07-5-9-6/In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on an Appeal of a Hearings Official's Decision Affirming a Planning Director Decision Approving  a Special Use Permit for a Public Park Within the Exclusive Farm Use (E30) Zone; Approving a Floodplain Development Permit to Construct a Bridge within the Regulatory Floodway; and Dismissing a Riparian Modification to Construct a Bridge to a Public Park. (Files PA 06-5444; Pa 99-6047; PA 99-6048/Willamalane Park & Recreation District).

 

Thom Lanfear, Land Management, explained that this is an issue by appeal of the hearing officialís decision.  He said the applicant is Willamalane Park and Recreation District and they have acquired a piece of property by 66th Street north of the urban growth boundary near the Levi Landing subdivision.  He indicated they are currently using the land as an aboreteum and allowing the public to use it.  Lanfear said they applied for a special use permit to have a public park in the Exclusive Farming Zone. He indicated as part of their development, Willamalane is proposing to construct a bridge across Cedar Creek that has a designated floodway on it and they applied for a riparian modification to construct the bridge within the riparian setback.  He reported that the planning director gave approval to the application after holding a public hearing.  He said the decision of the planning director was appealed by both the neighborhood group Rural Thurston, Inc. and the applicant Willamalane Park and Recreation District.  He noted the hearings official held a hearing on the record and affirmed the planning director decision.  He said that decision was appealed by Rural Thurston, Inc.

 

Lanfear explained the Board has three options:  to hear the appeal on the record; to not hear the appeal and to remain silent on the hearings official decision or to not hear argument on the appeal but to expressly agree with the interpretation of the Comprehensive Plan policies for implementing ordinances made by the hearing official or the planning director in the decision.  He noted the criteria the Board would use to decide whether to hear the appeal comes from Lane Code Chapter 14 (600).  He said there are four criteria used to decide whether to hear the appeal: to determine whether the issue is of countywide signifance or if the issue will reoccur with frequency and there is a need for policy guidance, or the issue involves a unique environmental resource or the planning director or hearing official recommend review.  He indicated that staff had given analysis of the appeal submitted by the neighborhood group and is recommending Option 3, to not hear the appeal but to affirm the hearing officialís decision and interpretation.

 

Lanfear indicated that the land on the south side of Cedar Creek.  He noted this was the only land owned by Willamalane in the immediate area.  He said this was a special use permit to conduct a public park in the Exclusive Farm Use Zone.  He said the state rules, statutes and Lane Code require a special use permit to conduct a public park.

 

Stewart asked  about the dedication and agreements about the park.

 

Lanfear said there was some discussion about the streets in Levi Landing and how there were some easements obtained through the process.  He noted the land was dedicated by a former University of Oregon landscaping professor.  He said Willamalane planted a magnolia arboretum and opened it up without the proper permits.  He indicated at the time they made the initial application for the bridge.  He added that the state rules prohibited the use of a special use permit for the park unless they had a master plan adopted and this was not in the master plan at that time.  He noted they had to work through the master plan process before they could come forward with a special use permit.  He added in the meantime, the rules changed that allowed the issuance of a special use permit in the park without a master plan.  He stated it is a use that could be approved in the flood zone for a public park, provided that it demonstrates that it does not cause a significant increase in the cost of farming and forest practices on adjacent lands.  He noted the planning director found that there were impacts occuring with the adjacent lands but they could be minimized if they required fencing around the park and those were the conditions that were placed and affirmed by the hearingís official.

 

Dwyer asked if the applicant made an application for a water right and where the water right was coming from.

 

Vorhes explained that part of the appeal is to consider how it relates to the issues raised on the appeal.  He said the focus of the appeal is that the appellate has raised issues where they think the hearings officialís decision is wrong.  He said how the water rights play into the issue raised in the appeal is a factor.  He said  the appeals statement says it relates to the critiera for the special use permit of putting a park in the farm zone.  He indicated that the interpretation is whether it would force a significant change and significantly increase the cost of farming practices of the surrounding land.  He added there is an argument about how this approval should not be able to be granted without taking a goal exemption to Goal 3.  He wasnít sure the water rights were part of the issue.

 

Dwyer wanted either to hear the appeal or not hear the appeal and remain silent on the hearing officialís decision.  He said if it goes somewhere else, it would be decided on the merits that relate to Goal 3 and other goals and he didnít want to put anything into the record.

 

Vorhes said as a practical matter given the issues raised,  there would be little deference available to the Boardís interpretation because the interpretations would be on statutes and the exception requirements of statewide goals.  

 

Fleenor asked how much it would cost Lane County citizens to go through each one.  He asked which was the least expensive where they would have the greatest deference.

 

Vorhes responded the least expensive would be Option 2.  He said deference is not a factor in either option.   

 

MOTION: to approve Option 2 for ORDER 07-5-9-6.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

9. FAIR BOARD

 

a. ORDER 07-5-9-7/In the Matter of Extending the Use of Transient Room Tax Funds for Capital Improvements at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

 

Warren Wong, Fairgrounds, reported the board order came before the Board at the end of March and they asked CVALCO be notified.  He said the order removes the cap and the amount of TRT the Fair Board can receive and it extends the authorization to 2022, the end of the bonds that are currently outstanding for the fairground improvements.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-5-9-7.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Sorenson asked if there were any concerns with CVALCO.

 

Van Vactor attended a meeting with Green and Kari Westlund and there were no issues raised. 

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting at 11:45 a.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary