July 30, 2008

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 8/19/2008


Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, Assistant County Counsel Marc Kardell and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.




a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 08-7-30-11/In the Matter of the Vacation Of Portions of First Avenue (Co. Rd.  856), the Alley in Block 28 and Falcon Street as Platted and Recorded in the Plat of Heceta Beach (Bk. 7,  P. 25), Lane County, Oregon Plat Records, With a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact  (18-12-04-13 & 42)


Mike Jackson, Land Management, recalled on May 28, 2008 he presented a proposed vacation to the Board without a public hearing.  He noted it was determined by the Board at that time that it would be in the best interest to bring this back in a public hearing session. 


He explained that this petition for a vacation was brought to the Board by the Driftwood Shores Inn.    He indicated that it was the belief of the Driftwood Shores Inn that the publicís interest will be served by removing the encroachment currently within the County right-of-way.  He added that it would also help facilitate compliance with the set back requirements on their building.  He noted there was a set back variance they found by Lane County in 1993.  He indicated that the road was originally established in 1915.  He added in 1968 an additional 10 feet on the west side was dedicated for public purposes and that is what is being requested for a vacation. 


Jackson reported that the right-of-way is currently 50 feet north and south of the area.  He recalled at the meeting in May, Sorenson asked about the park to the north and how the vacation might benefit the park.  Jackson contacted Todd Winter, Parks, and Winter thought at the time it would not benefit them for parking. Winter thought the public was bypassing the park system by parking at the Driftwood Shores. 


Jackson indicated that the City of Florence is supportive of the vacation and next Monday they will be having a meeting for the annexation of the area.  He indicated that they have followed the statutory posting and notifications.


Dwyer commented that it is a narrow street heavily used by the general public and the citizens of the area.  He noted the only encroachment into the Countyís right-of-way is large vehicles parked, sticking out as a result of the existing encroachment on the Countyís facility.  He thought they were associated with Driftwood Shores.  He asked where it was in the public interest to give away a portion of a road that was required so citizens can travel to a park that the County owns.  He noted it is one of the few beach accesses and many people access the beach from the park. He commented that there was no public interest associated with it. 


Fleenor asked if they approve this, if the portion that is still in the Countyís right- of-way would require a facilities permit and if it could be part of the board order.


Jackson believed it would be required.


Dwyer said the problem is people are parking in the Countyís right-of-way. He didnít think they should give away the right-of-way so people arenít parking there anymore and impeding access to the park.


Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.


Martin Alletson, General Manager, Driftwood Shores, Florence, said the road in front of Driftwood Shores is wider than any part of Lane Countyís park.  He added that the park area is narrower than where they are. He said they donít impede the width of the road even where the parking is.  He said if the Board was concerned about the public, they wouldnít charge $3 for people to park their cars in the new park.  He said most people who would have parked in the park are now parking in their parking lot. He indicated they are not ticketing or towing people who are parking in the Driftwood Shores parking lot.  He noted in front of their building is the widest part of the street and they donít affect the beach access.  He noted the access is before and after their property.


Sorenson asked why it was in the publicís interest for the Board to grant the road vacation.


Alletson commented that it is in the publicís interest because it doesnít change anything other than the way it was grandfathered in.  He indicated that they are not taking anything more away than what the public is already using.  He noted the public is parking in front of their hotel now at that access.  He said they arenít taking away parking or building over the line, they are asking for the vacation.  He noted people parking in front of the building are the public who do not want to pay the $3 in the County parking area.  He said the improvements they would make would enhance their business and there could be more taxes for the County.


Diane Landon, Eugene, said she is a unit owner at Driftwood Shores.  She supported the vacation because it would be in favor of their property.


Robert Stansbury, Eugene, remembered when there was a grocery story across the street.  He recalled that it has always been a public beach accesses.  He didnít want to deny public access to the beach.  He wanted the public to use the beach access but the parking is somewhat limited. 


Martin Hodges, Eugene, said he has been in the Driftwood Shores area since 1940.  He said he owns six to ten pieces of property in western Lane County.  He said a public hearing is for people to come and talk against what is proposed.  He was in favor of the vacation. He said he owns a unit at Driftwood Shores and it would be in the public interest to have more control.  He said it is currently out of control.  He said the police donít control the parking and they are trying to improve the area.  He encouraged the Board to look at this favorably.  He thought this should be approved.


Mike Howard, Satre Associates, said he is the agent for the applicant.  He said that Driftwood Shores was also attempting an annexation to the City of Florence.  He reported there have not been any objections and it is possible that the portion in front of the Driftwood Shores would be annexed.  He stated the goal of Driftwood Shores is to improve the pool facilities and with the development will be landscape enhancements in front of the pool, inside of the 10 feet they are asking for within this vacation request.   He said it would eliminate the front end parking spaces and the encroachments into the right-of-way.  He recalled there was a variance given to Driftwood Shores previously and in that variance was a condition of approval that the parking not be provided in front of the pool facility.  He said parking continues to occur there and it is an enforcement issue.  He noted the road right-of-way is to the north and south of the Driftwood Shores facility.  He recalled the additional 10 feet was asked for in 1968 for a reason the County, he or Driftwood Shores could not find out about.  He said there is not legal parking in that ten foot strip and he thought Driftwood Shores remodeling would be significant roadway improvements that should help facilitate access to the park that would provide access to the beach and help alleviate parking concerns and other issues of encroachment for through traffic.  He indicated 100 percent of the neighbors signed on to the petition and agreed that it did not violate their rights.  He added there has not been opposition from neighbors on this project and no opposition from agencies that have been affected.  He believed it was in the publicís interest by allowing Driftwood Shores to improve their property and the ability to approve the right-of-way to its full 50 foot width and to provide sidewalks and other amenities that are necessary to provide pedestrian and vehicular access to the park in a safe manner.  He noted that currently the ability is not there.  He said Driftwood Shores is annexing to the city to eliminate their sanitary system on site so they could join with the City of Florenceís sanitation and it will improve the neighborhood.  He added if they are annexed, one of the provisions for development in the City of Florence does not allow on-site parking between buildings and public rights-of-way.  He said if the 10 foot section is provided to the City of Florence, there could not be parking in front of the building.


Fleenor asked if and when the property is annexed by the City of Florence if they would require sidewalks and gutters to be put in front of the pool area.


Howard responded that he didnít think it would be immediate; it would be when the street improvements are required.  He didnít think their current improvement plan required it.


Alletson reported that annexation will take place on August 4 and it is expected to become legal on September 1. He indicated that they have submitted drawings to the city for an improvement for the building and part of the drawings show landscaping along the side of the building where there is parking and the city requested a diagram and a list of plants going into the planters.


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


Stewart said if he were to support parking be removed from all of the area, that  there should be a sidewalk.


Fleenor thought this could enhance revenue at the park by restricting the on-street parking.  He wanted to go in that direction.


Sorenson asked if they had to determine whether the application meets the public interest.


Kardell said there could be conditions placed.   He thought they could condition removing the stripes that are there because it is County property.


Dwyer thought what had been put in the record was positive proof that the Countyís property is being encroached upon by Driftwood Shores to the extent that they have parking drawn.  He added they had planned it into their right-of- way and there is no evidence there is a facility permit.


MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-7-30-11


Fleenor MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.


Sorenson thought it was hard to determine that this road vacation was in the publicís best interest.  He thought it was in the private interest of improving property and getting more property that was granted to the public.  He also thought there as an access issue to the park.  He commented that if they grant this, they are impeding the publicís asset to the park by making it more difficult to find parking.  He thought it was in the publicís interest to have a wider right-of-way for the public and it is in the private interest of Driftwood Shores to have the right-of- way transferred back.  He said a separate issue is the access to waterways. His concern was focused on the statute.  He didnít think the applicants made their burden to show that it is in the public interest to vacate the road.


Stewart didnít support the motion.  He believed there was a public benefit.  He thought with mandating a sidewalk, it would improve access for pedestrians and safety for their commute to the park.  He didnít think this takes away any of the use of the park.  He didnít find it to be an issue for him.  He thought it would be in the public interest that if the County is going to charge for parking it would be nice for people to park in the Park and not looking for free parking at Driftwood Shores.  He didnít think that was in the publicís interest.  He thought the City of Florence should be making this decision if Driftwood Shores is going to be annexed.  He thought Driftwood should annex into the city and then get the city to take over the jurisdiction of the road so they have one body to be accountable to. 


VOTE: 1-4 (Dwyer, Stewart, Green, Sorenson dissenting) MOTION FAILED.


Adjourned at 2:40 p,m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary