BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
May 28, 2008
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present. Bill Dwyer was excused. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
14. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 08-5-28-6/In the Matter of Authorizing the sale of County Property That has been Designated as Parkland and Identified as Assessorís Map No. 18-12-11-00-02000 and 18-12-26-12-00100.
Todd Winter, Parks, recalled the Board on February 14 2007 deemed two tax foreclosed properties as parkland. He noted through the Lane Manual process, a public process must occur at which time they would ask the Board for sale of the two properties. He indicated the lots have already been deeded as parklands. He noted one was on Taylor Road outside of Florence. He said it was appraised in 2006 for $120,000. He said the other property is on the south side of the urban growth boundary, but is in close proximity. He indicated that legal notices were provided through The Register-Guard and The Siuslaw News.
Winter said the property close to the casino is three general fund properties. He said the property deemed as parklands is .86 acre and it is upland. He added the entire area is 4.17 acres. He noted 3.3 acres are upland, but a couple of the general fund properties are wetlands. He said it was suggested that if the Board authorizes a sale, it might make sense to offer all four parcels. He noted that this went through the Parks Advisory Council.
Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-5-28-6.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Winter indicated in the board order they proposed to go to the Sheriffís Auction in July. He said if they were not to get a minimum bid, they could sell it in a private sale.
Jeff Turk, Management Services, explained that both of the properties allowed Parks land to be sold either by private or public sale. He said the other three parcels were offered at a Sheriffís sale in the mid-90ís. He indicated all of the properties are eligible to be sold by a private sale as opposed to a public auction. He said he has had inquiries about the property over the years. He stated it was the Boardís choice on how they want to dispose of the property.
Spartz asked how they determine a reserve price.
Turk explained that the property was appraised before it was parkland. He said in 2006 the properties were appraised for $410,000 with $125,000 for the upland area.
Winter indicated the Taylor Road property is currently $110,000 and .6 acres of parkland is $107,500.
Stewart recommended reserving the price at no lower than the appraised price. He thought they could receive more than the $410,000. He said by going into the Sheriffís sale they have an opportunity for what they think the value is.
Green asked if there were any problems with this property.
Turk indicated there are wetland issues. He said he had EGR Associates make a wetland delineation and he has that report. He commented that it is up to the buyer to determine what they want to do with the property.
b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance 4-08/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Equalize the Lane County Transient Room Tax Countywide by Eliminating the Reduction in Western Lane County and Setting an Effective Date (LC 4.110(2) (NBA & PM 5/14/08).
Wilson explained that this is an opportunity to make the County room tax the same throughout Lane County. She recalled in 1992 they set the western Lane County room tax rate at two percent less than the rest of the County and amended it in 1994 to make it one percent less. She indicated that this action would make it the same throughout the County. She said the earlier action had been in recognition of a disparity along the coast among room tax rates. She added that the City of Florence has amended their room tax. She said the timing of this is set so it goes into effect the same time as the City of Florence. She thought it would bring in about $120,000 more to the room tax. She noted under the current code the $120,000 would be expended for the visitor industry. She said that is the 70-10-10-10 split for visitor and tourism marketing and special projects. She stated that under state law, if the Board wanted to take 30 percent of the increase and use it for the general fund, it would amount to about $36,000.
Fleenor asked if some of that money could be directed toward public safety.
Wilson said if that is the direction the Board decides to go with the next fiscal year, it is written into the ordinance that through the annual budget process, they have the ability to redirect some of the funds as part of the annual budget order.
Fleenor asked if they could write in that it could only be used for west Lane County public safety so the money stays in the area.
Wilson said if the Board wants to be that specific, it is a Board choice.
Green thought it should go to the general fund and have the funds not so dedicated that they lose flexibility with what they can do with the funds.
Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to adopt Ordinance 4-08.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
ROLL CALL VOTE: 4-0.
a. ORDER 08-5-28-6/In the Matter of Proclaiming the Month of May 2008 Child Mental Health Awareness Month.
Stewart read the order into the record.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Fleenor announced that tomorrow, he was having a community dialogue at Eat at Joeís in Blachly.
17. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/City of Junction City's Request for Rural Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
Stewart reported that the Board received a letter dated May 16 requesting that the Board of Commissioners do a Rural Comprehensive Plan amendment and include a coordinated population forecast. He said Junction City needs to do a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and they need the coordinated population forecast so they could move forward with meeting the needs of a state mental hospital and a prison. He said the letter was requesting that the Board do this.
MOTION: to direct staff to withdraw for reconsideration Resolution 08-4-30-12 and direct staff to come back with a recommendation on a process by which the Board may initiate a Lane County coordinated population forecast to be undertaken utilizing the Lane County Planning Commission and recognizing the Junction City letter and the compelling reasons set forth therein, (that the State of Oregon is siting a medium security prison within the Junction City area) based upon the following caveats: 1) The Lane County coordinated population forecast process will follow Lane Code 16.400 and 2) the request is based upon that Lane County is the initiating authority for the forecast and 3) the request is based upon a full-cost recovery mechanism by seeking commitments from the affected cities and 4) the LCOG population data may be used by any qualified population forecast consulting firm retained by Lane County at their discretion as a reference for any future Lane County coordinated population forecast.
Fleenor MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Stewart asked if the population forecast was countywide or for just Junction City.
Fleenor indicated that it would be countywide. He said it is because of the siting of a minimum security prison. He added that he has a proposed plan for full cost recovery.
Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, said that they would be directing staff to try to craft something the Board would agree with.
Green thought that Matt Laird and Kent Howe from Land Management were working on a process. He recalled that they came back to the Board to show what it would look like.
Laird said they came to the Board a couple of times on population forecasting. He stated the first time he laid out several options. He noted the second time he scaled it down directing Land Management to start it and they would bring it back through the Board process. He said this was reverting back to what the Board previously said, to direct Land Management to start the process and to investigate what they believe is the best process and to come back to the Board.
Green said when the previous resolution was adopted, he thought the two major cities went to a safe harbor approach. He said the cities raising concern are Veneta, Junction City, Creswell and Oakridge. He asked if they would have to go back and talk to the cities for the full cost recovery.
Laird said they would have to talk to them for the cost share recovery. He didnít know if the safe harbor worked for them or not. He didnít think by doing a coordinated study that it precluded a city from using a safe harbor number.
Green asked if the cities had to participate.
Vorhes thought the calculations LCOG did could have been legally defensible because all the cities were a part of it. He said it was not a land use process and having a land use process, they end up with coordination issues of Goal 2, the citizen involvement issues of Goal 1 and providing an opportunity for each of the cities to tell them what the numbers are and what they think the basis is. He said the cities could chose to participate.
Sorenson said the people who are appealing are contending it was a land use action. He asked if the repeal was of the land use action and if they could modify a land use decision without using the public involvement process. He asked if they were admitting if it was a land use decision and then they are illegally changing the land use decision. He didnít think they made a land use decision.
Vorhes said the legal analysis he would follow would be to tell the parties and LUBA in the Boardís withdrawal that they didnít believe it was a land use issue but it is more prudent to take a different path and in taking a reconsidered action, couching it in a way that avoids whether it is a land use decision. He said they should get into the process.
Sorenson asked what substantive changes are made to the resolution by the motion.
Vorhes said by withdrawing it, they will send the notice of withdrawal and they will get a decision from LUBA. He added that it is put on hold and it would come back to the Board and a resolution or modification to the action would address the resolution in a way this Board finds appropriate and acceptable. He anticipated the County working with DLCD and the four cities
Sorenson asked if directing staff to withdraw the motion for reconsideration and directing staff to come back for a new recommendation, had to occur simultaneously of if they could come back with a process the Board could initiate.
Vorhes said the sequence Sorenson described could set up the legal difficulty. He said there could be debate from the appealing parties about the Boardís jurisdiction to do that, assuming that it is a land use decision. He said if it is a land use decision, it could set up another fight subject to LUBA jurisdiction, if the Board had any authority to change it or the process.
Sorenson asked what the status of their resolution is if the Board approved this motion.
Vorhes said they would move to ask LUBA for reconsideration. He said they would notify LUBA that the County wanted to withdraw that resolution for reconsideration. He indicated that it would still be on the books and it is a Board action and it would remain unless and until the Board takes further action on the reconsideration.
Sorenson asked what period of time they had to reconsider their previous decision.
Vorhes responded that under LUBAís rules, the statutes donít lay anything out. He said there is a statute that describes the authority to withdraw prior to filing the record. He noted the LUBA rules set out a 90 day period for the decision maker to let LUBA know that the reconsidered decision is. He said they have 90 days from the date of LUBAís acknowledgement of the notice of withdrawal. He added that they would send out a notice of withdrawal and that would suspend the time frame for the appeal. He said it would stay suspended for 90 days and if they hear nothing after 90 days, they would start up the appeal. He said if they get a decision from Lane County about their reconsidered decision, then the current parties would have to notify LUBA that they would want to challenge that decision. He stated that this motion does not change the previous resolution the Board took at the beginning of the year on the delegation of authority for LCOG. He said this only addresses the resolution that was adopted on April 30 that is currently under appeal.
Green said the reason given by the Board for relinquishing the authority by LCOG was because there were questions about the science and statistics. He said if that was an argument made to withdraw the authority from LCOG, he didnít understand item 4: the LCOG data could be used by any qualified population forecast consulting firm retained by Lane County. He indicated that LCOG was retained. He thought they could start with information from LCOG and then they could perform a statistical analysis. He asked if someone from the City of Lowell objected to the data. He commented that the data is not that different than what LCOG provided. He asked what the next steps would be.
Vorhes said if they start down a land use process and they get those concerns raised about a public hearing or at the Board when the process gets to that point, the Board listens to the issues and determines whether there is merit or not. He said the options are open to the Board in the process. He said he and Laird could come back with a recommendation for the process that could address some of those questions.
Green asked if these four cities objected to the LCOG data before they adopted a resolution.
Laird said the LCOG population forecast to 2030 was acceptable to them. He said they worked with LCOG and thought they were at the end of their process, and it would be adopted by the Board. He added then there was a flare up about questions on what type of process this went through.
Stewart said he was the LCOG member. He noted the information gathered was all done by the individual cities. He commented that it was unfortunate that they had to deal with this. He would have liked to direct staff to start coordination of the populated forecast projection as soon as possible. He didnít think this resolution did that. He thought it just gave direction to come back with a process. He wanted to make a commitment that they need to do the process and have staff come back.
Fleenor wanted the process to move forward. He said starting the process to try to determine how they are going to conduct the coordinated population forecast within Lane Code 16.400 has yet to be done. He said there are some issues they have to work through because of some language.
Vorhes said keeping this general in directing staff is that it does provide an opportunity for them to address the resolution once it is back from LUBA. He said it gives some opportunity to find a more specific resting point for a population study
Stewart didnít think it was appropriate to give direction to do a coordinated population forecast in light of still having to reconsider the resolution. He asked how long it would take to reconsider the resolution.
Vorhes said the Board could include an expected deadline for staff to come back with revisions or suggestion for resolution and the outlined process within two weeks.
Laird said they need three weeks if it goes through the normal channels to get into the packet. He thought they could put together a revised resolution quickly.
Spartz noted that in the letter they received from Junction City, for this exercise to be useful for them, they need the numbers by the end of 2008 so they can share them with the Department of Corrections in siting the prison in early 2009.
Fleenor proposed to change the amendment: third sentence to state to come back, by June 25, 2008, with a recommendation.
Sorenson asked if there was a way to involve other parties that have come before the Board. He asked if the conversation could be broader than the cities that appealed. He added that Springfield and Eugene have an interest in this. He said if there is a discussion on where they are going, it should be more of a global resolution and this motion gives them the opportunity and a timeline. He said he is frustrated about reference to LCOGís population study. He said they have been asking to separate the County from LCOGís population forecast and he didnít think it was aggressively done by staff.
Vorhes said the discussion rests in the change in the rules that LCDC adopted in 2007. He said there were directions from staff to come back and give the Board answers and they did. He said at time the analysis was not finished before the Board took the next step. He said they gave the Board an extensive list of options to exercise and coordinate a population forecast function on April 30. He added that a discussion was available to have at that time.
In defense of staff, Fleenor said he had a large learning curve on this matter and it had taken him a long time to process. He took the responsibility for the delay. He said he was comfortable with what they are now doing. He said they were going through a good process and he thought at the end of the day they would all be happy. He encouraged the Board to support the motion and move it forward.
Green stated that Sorenson did not have the right to blame staff for where they are today. He said prior to the adoption of that resolution, staff came back with information they requested. He said the only reason they are there today is because that resolution did not follow the internal process. He said it just showed up during the meeting and had it gone through the Countyís internal process, legal staff would have had the opportunity to address all of the concerns that were raised today. He said to bring a resolution up where their agenda team didnít get a chance to see it was the reason the issue was be appealed. He stated the resolution triggered everything.
Stewart thought since last October they had been trying to move this forward in a manner where the Board wanted more public comment. He said they took the authority back over. He thanked Laird and staff because since that time they had come back with different options. He said there was no fault to be put on staff and they have been doing hard work. He thought it was unfortunate that they didnít step up at the time to say it wasnít acceptable to the Board because it hadnít gone through the correct process. He hoped they could move forward.
18. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
19. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the
meeting at 3:35 p.m.