October 1, 2008

1:30 p.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 10/22/2008


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




a. SECOND READING & PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. Pa 1249/In the Matter of Co-Adopting the Florence Comprehensive Plan ĎRealization 2020í, and Applicable Refinement Plans to Complete Periodic Review for the Urbanizable Area Outside Florence City Limits and Within the Urban Growth Boundary and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.(File No. PA 08-5142, Florence) (NBA & PM 09/17/08).


Stephanie Schulz, Land Management, explained that this hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to present testimony and add to deliberations regarding co-adoption of the Florence Comprehensive Plan Realization 2020 and associated refinement plan, (specifically the Transportation System Plan) the Water Facilities Plan and Wastewater Facilities Plan and the Stormwater Management Plan.  She indicated that it includes a stand alone design report for the North Spruce Street Local Improvement District.  She said the City of Florence began to complete their DLCD periodic review work plan around 1995 and in 2000 the city adopted the Realization 2020 Updated Plan.  She indicated that after conducting numerous public involvement efforts that included referral and notice as required by statewide planning law, the city subsequently adopted more amendments to the plan, both periodic review work tasks and post acknowledgment plan amendments that are shown in a chart at the front of the plan.  She indicated that city staff is prepared to address the most recent amendments in response to concerns and issues raised by the public during the Lane County Planning Commission hearing and that would affect the timeline for the entire project.


Schulz reported that Lane County co-adopted a comprehensive plan for the City of Florence in 1988.  She said the actions in their entirety are included in the plan.  She said the County co-adoption of Realization 2020 will eliminate the applicability of two different plans within the UGB outside the city limits.  She indicated that currently planning for development within the urbanizable area is required to address those current comp plan polices and the policies in the 20 year old 1988 plan.  She added that co-adoption of the Realization 2020 Plan will address the gap between the 1988 plan and the one in effect inside the city today.


Schulz stated the criteria for approval of a plan amendment is covered under Lane Code 12.050. She said clause one states the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan or amendment to such a plan shall be by an ordinance and Ordinance PA 1249 presents this amendment.  She noted that Criteria 2 states the Board may amend or supplement the Comprehensive Plan upon a finding of the two applicable subclauses (b) and (d).  She said (b) is to change circumstances affecting or pertaining to the plan and under that criteria, the City of Florence has conducted extensive public processes at each stage at updating their comp plan and associated refinement plan in response to changed circumstances in the community since 1988.  She noted the Oregonís coastal economy that was once based on abundant natural resources and a thriving fishing and timber industry that supported a wide range of family waged jobs has changed.  She said that economic circumstances in Florence now reflect the service economy with a larger percentage of retirees. She indicated that development in Florenceís urbanizable area will benefit from a single comprehensive plan responsive to todayís circumstances. She stated that certainty in which rules apply to guide development is a core basis for planning consistency and co-adoption of the Florence Realization 2020 Plan by the Board.  She indicated that it will ensure the consistency outside of the city limits and within the UGB of Florence.  She stated under (2)(d), it allows for an amendment after reviewing for change in public need, based on a re-evaluation of factors affecting the plan, provided the amendment or supplement does not impair the purpose of the plan as established by Lane Code 12.005.  She said the cityís process in developing Realization 2020 included a valuation of all factors that affect the comp plain in order to provide residents and others using the plan the most up to date reflection of the public need for the next 20 year period. 


Schulz reported that staff finds the amendments the city has incorporated into the Realization 2020 Plan do not impair the purpose of the countywide applicable Rural Comp Plan as stated in Lane Code 12.005.  She said the purpose statement of the Comprehensive Plan is the guiding of the social, economic and physical development of the County to best promote public health, safety, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare.  She stated the Florence Realization 2020 Plan fits the definition for the city.  She added that Board co-adoption will ensure consistency and coordination in land use planning as presented for the urbanizable area. She noted Lane Code 16.400 (6)(h)(iii)(aa) further requires the Board to make findings that the proposed amendment meets all applicable requirements of state and local law, statewide planning goals and Oregon Administrative Rules. 


Schulz reported that the Planning Commission had made a recommendation of approval by a vote of 6-2.  She added that the Planning Commission would be reviewing new amendments proposed to be included that were sent in with the supplemental material and included in the packet.  She stated that DLCD recommended co-adoption of the plan.


Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.


Mayor Phil Brubaker, Florence, thought the plan was responsive to the concerns and suggestions raised by the Lane County Planning Commission in their review leading to the co-adoption process.  He believed it casts in a comprehensive plan level the long term discussions they have had about annexation policies in Florence and the urban growth boundary once and for all.  He indicated the co-adoption would put in stone their no force annexation policy.  He said they believe in it and they will subject it to the co-adoption of a Comprehensive Plan.   He said there is a twin principle involved.  He said they are serious about protecting the sole source aquifer drinking water supply in the greater Florence area that includes the urban growth boundary.  He said this plan would require annexation in connection to the sewer system for future development to occur in the UGB.  He added that there is nothing in the plan about expanding the UGB but they have a dunal aquifer that is larger than their UGB.


Sandra Belson, City of Florence, recalled that 18 years ago the city started on periodic review. She said they are finishing periodic review and co-adoption of this would be a major step to completion for them.  She recalled in 2004 Lane County adopted one of the major components of the periodic review of the urban growth boundary. She added that there is no change to the urban growth boundary being proposed.  She noted the focus is on the Comprehensive Plan map and the policies within the plan that would apply to the urbanizable area.  She noted they had a hearing before the Lane County Planning Commission and several work sessions and they made a recommendation for approval and noted four issues for consideration.  She said they have been working to make sure they are adequately addressing those concerns.  She noted with staff comments on the Transportation System Plan, Celia Barry, Public Works, had commented on some amendments she thought would help improve the plan.  Belson noted the amendments that did not involve a lot of policy discussion have been incorporated into the plan.


Belson noted the first chapter of the supplemental to be amended would be Chapter 6, for the air, water and land quality.  She said they were proposing to add a new policy, the 12th policy in that chapter.  She said the County and the city would develop scientifically based standards and a testing program to determine if sewage from septic tanks is entering water supplies.  She said part of this is to identify any potential issues and to deal with them so they donít end up in a situation where there is a health hazard that would need to be remedied that would be controversial or for unwanted annexation. She said that was in response to the Planning Commissionís recommendation number 4.


Mike Miller, Florence Public Works, reported the indicator in working with the DEQ is nitrates.  He said they suggested using the trigger of five milligrams per liter or greater, which is 50 percent of what is allowable in drinking water as the standard. 


Belson indicated with Chapter 14, the first policy is no forced annexation.  She noted the city will only annex property when requested to do so by a property owner in accordance with the processes by state law.  She indicated they heard from public testimony that even though the city had passed a resolution stating this, they were uncomfortable because of future city councils changing the resolution.  She explained that by being in the plan, it requires co-adoption by the county commissioners so a future city council couldnít change the annexation policy, they would need to get the county commissioners to agree with them.  She stated that in order to protect the sole source aquifer, they put in the policy the property owners within the north Florence dunal aquifer who are also within the urban growth boundary.  She added if they wish to develop or redevelop, they must first annex to the city and hook up to city sanitary sewer service unless they obtain a special exemption from the city council.


With regard to Policy 5, Belson said they would be sending all referrals on annexation to Lane County and for the Heceta Water District.  She said they have a resolution that states if the water district can provide the service to the properties, they would not withdraw them.  She said the water district would continue to be providing water service to those properties. 


Belson explained that Policy 8 was in the 1988 Comprehensive Plan.  She said it spoke to the governance issue of who was responsible for services.  She said the policy states that Lane County and the City of Florence share substantial interest in development within the urban growth boundary and shall require annexation in order to include a range of urban services provided by the City of Florence.  She noted that it is recognized that until annexation, Lane County will retain primary land use and building permitting responsibility for those lands.  She indicated that had not been carried into the 2020 Plan so they have added it back in.


With regard to the coordinated population projection discussions, Belson noted that under the urban growth boundary policy 1 a), they have added language that states UGB expansions to accommodate the need for residential land shall be based on any coordinated population allocation adopted in accordance with state law.  She said they canít expand their UGB until there is an adopted coordinated population projection. 


Miller commented that their biggest issue is the dunal aquifer.  He said being built on sand, they have high infiltration rates and the water enters into the ground and enters into the aquifer.  He indicated that it is recognized by the EPA and they stated it was highly susceptible to contamination.  Miller said it was an issue they need to look at.  He indicated that the DEQ wanted to work with them to develop a program to see what is happening to the aquifer.  He added the other issue with the dunal aquifer is the EPA estimated that if contamination were to occur, it might take up to six years to move it out of the system.  He said they were looking at a mandatory septic system that would require regular checks.


Dwyer thought they could have monitors in the ground the moment a spill occurs.  He said they need a prudent person reserve or a surcharge as an aquifer protection reserve.  He added that if something occurs that has to be done and is required to protect the aquifer and it canít be paid for without a hardship by the homeowner, then the reserve is tapped instead of the fund.


Miller said as they move forward to bring the sewer out to the UGB, they need to look at the least costly method of taking care of the issue of septic and potential contamination to the aquifer.  He said the DEQ had concerns about the septic systems within the dunal aquifer.  He said their concern was that until they get the testing done, to quantify some of the issues around the failures and what is going to happen with the affluent into the ground.


Bob Willoughby, City Manager, City of Florence, said the sole source dunal aquifer in Florence is the only one of its kind.  He commented that work in Central Oregon in design of septic tank systems do not work in Florence in the same way.   He said their water table is so high and things travel so quickly in the sand that there is not an opportunity for traditional methods of dealing with the liquid waste as it gets to the ground water. He said the federal government in recognizing the sole source dunal aquifer, mentions the potential for septic tank systems to contaminate the aquifer.  He said it is something they need to be concerned about.


Brubaker said this plan does not propose septic system testing, it proposed aquifer testing and a joint program between Lane County and the City of Florence.  He said it has the provisions to protect the existing property owners from forced annexation and it recognizes there are some older systems that might be a problem.  He added the preferred alternative is to annex and hook up to the sewer   and it was the cheapest way to do it.  He added they have protection for the newer developments that have occurred.


MOTION: to close the Public Hearing, leaving the record open to December 5 with a Third Reading and Deliberation set for December 10.


Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.


Schulz announced that on October 27 the city council jointly with their Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the text amendments and on November 4 at Lane Countyís Planning Commission they will have a work session update that will include policy amendments and Chapter 10 Lane Code Amendments they are working on.  She added on the code amendments they will initiate a public hearing before the Board.  She said there will be a First Reading after the Planning Commission and they will hold a hearing on November 18.  She indicated they will be mailing out Ballot Measure 56 notices and early in November the cityís Planning Commission will make a recommendation to their council and the council will make a final decision on November 17.  She indicated they will go the Lane County Planning Commission with the final city decision to review it in its entirety and Lane Countyís Planning Commission will be able to make a recommendation.  She added that everything will align on December 10 for a decision to include the Lane County Code Amendments.


VOTE: 5-0.





a. PRESENTATION/Working for You Video.


Amber Fossen, Public Information, reported that the project includes 12 shows focusing on different areas of service.  She noted the first program is focused on youth.  She indicated that some of their objectives were to inform the community in a greater depth than what they are currently able to do.  She said they are going to be showing, not telling what they do.  She said they want to show best practices and show taxpayers how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.  She added that they also want to show how they partner with the community to best meet their needs.


Robert Lewis, Metro Television, explained that the money for the programs came from a franchise agreement with Comcast Cable.  He said Lane County collected $28,250 to spread the word on what the County does.  He indicated that the first program premiers tonight.




a. REPORT BACK 2nd Avenue and Ocean Avenue in Florence.


Andy Clark, Assistant County Counsel, recalled the Board requested a report back on the access issues.  He sent out a memo that outlines the options available.  He said there hasnít been any denial or threat of denial of access.  He indicated that there has been a legal lot verification that has been submitted by the owner of Tax Lot 5300 and 5303.  He said it was approved and there was interest from the neighbors that development might occur that could jeopardize access.  He hadnít heard anything.  He said at present there isnít an access issue.  He thought the neighbors might have a way to claim a necessity by the landowners, which is a County process that is initiated by the landowners who need access.  He commented that it was not desirable from a neighborís perspective because it requires payment of compensation.


Mike Jackson, Land Management, explained that he has a plat describing Second Avenue as being outside of the plat, 950 feet to the ocean beach.  He noted to the ocean beach in surveyorís terms is a monument that is called ďThe road goes to the beach.Ē  He indicated that it is a public road but not a County road.


Clark explained the competing interests in this matter are the Countyís resources and what they want to spend in terms of staff time and money to resolve the issues.  He said the Board could do everything from doing nothing to adopting a resolution like the one for Green Gate Road.  He commented that a resolution doesnít have any binding legal effect.  He said the Board could take a legalization process but it is not inexpensive. They determined the cost could be up to $15,000.  He said the other option would be to purchase voluntarily or through condemnation part of the property needed to make the access.  He indicated not much of the lot is developable because the land is in sand.  He added that a drainfield would need to be installed because there is no sewer service. 


Jackson believed the plat already makes it a public right-of-way.  He added that it is a legal platted right-of-way from 1915.


Dwyer commented that it was a public road prescriptively. He said if they take the portion needed for the road, it would make the lot unbuildable given the setbacks.  He said assuming they could buy the land for whatever the market value is, it would be in the government and citizenís interest to acquire it in that fashion.  He added that if they have to go to condemnation, it is expensive.  He wanted to go with legalization of the road and not condemnation.  He thought the legalization concept would bring them to the table and would protect the people who have access to it.  He thought that was the win-win instead of spending money on legalization to try to negotiate a proper settlement.  He wanted to give the fair market value.


Richardson explained that this was not like Green Gate in that the owner is saying it canít be crossed.  She said the owner of the lot is not saying people canít use it anymore, people still have access.  She indicated that there has been no issue that has arisen about access.  She said they asked for a lot line verification and that was what got the neighbors worried.


Green didnít want to spend money or legal time on this.


Dwyer wanted to get something tangible instead of spending money on lawyers and creating resentment.


Tom Drechsler, Land Management, noted that if they proceed with the purchase of the property, they need to make a decision whether it should be an extension of Ocean Way as part of the County road or part of Second Avenue as a local access road.


Stewart didnít know if Parks had any money left from the sale of Glenada.  He thought it could be purchased as Parks property and through the process memorialize the road right-of-way and it could be a permanent access for the citizens.


Clark said this provides actual access to the beach and  people use it.


Sorenson agreed the transaction costs should be kept as low as possible.  He asked if the County could work this out with the neighbors.


Drechsler indicated there was a discussion between the landowners about a voluntary dedication and there was no interest.


Dwyer wanted to see if they could negotiate with the owner for the purchase of the property instead of condemnation.  He wanted them to come back to the Board with the amount and a list of options and to find out how much money in left in the Parks account from the sale of Glenada.


Stewart was in agreement with direction of trying to purchase the property and what the cost would be for legalization.  He recommended taking the steps to resolve this.





Green apologized about the earlier presentation.  He said the commissioner making the presentation had it on his calendar for October 3.  It will be rescheduled.  He reported that October 14 is the last meeting of the Federal Forest Payment Committee with the governor.  He indicated there was a comment period and comments were sent back to the governor.


Dwyer was optimistic that Lane County might get relief from the federal government.  He indicated the Senate was putting county payments into the bailout and the President said he would sign it.


Fleenor indicated he was having a community dialogue in Dunes City.


Stewart corrected himself that the buyout was $425 per citizen, not $425,000.










There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 3:45 p.m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary