MINUTES OF THE

JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS MEETING OF   

THE SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL,

EUGENE CITY COUNCIL,

COBURG CITY COUNCIL, AND

LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

HELD MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

APPROVED 10/22/2008

 

A joint elected officials meeting with the City of Springfield, City of Eugene, City of Coburg, and Lane County was held in the Library Meeting Room, 225 Fifth Street, Springfield, Oregon, on Monday, September 15, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. with Mayor Leiken presiding.

 

ATTENDANCE

 

Present from Springfield were Mayor Sid Leiken and Councilors Christine Lundberg, Hillary Wylie, Anne Ballew, John Woodrow, and Joe Pishioneri. 

 

Present from Eugene were Mayor Kitty Piercy and Councilors Betty Taylor, Mike Clark, Jennifer Solomon, Andrea Ortiz, and Chris Pryor.

 

Present from Coburg were Mayor Judy Volta and Councilors John Thiel, Jerry Behney and John Fox.

 

Present from Lane County were Board Chair Faye Stewart and Commissioners Bobby Green, Bill Fleenor, Pete Sorenson, and Bill Dwyer.

 

Mayor Sid Leiken opened the meeting of the Springfield City Council. He noted that Councilor Ralston was absent.

 

Mayor Kitty Piercy opened the meeting of the Eugene City Council. She noted that Councilors Zelenka, Bettman and Poling were absent.

 

Mayor Judy Volta opened the meeting of the Coburg City Council. Councilors Judd, Pech, and Watson were absent.

 

Board Commissioner Sorenson, as senior member of the Board, opened the meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners on behalf of Board Chair Stewart who had not yet arrived.

 

Councilor Betty Taylor arrived at approximately 12:05 p.m.

 

Commissioners Green and Stewart arrived at approximately 12:15 p.m.

 

Mayor Leiken welcomed everyone and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

 

1.       Regional Transportation Work Plan.

 

Tom Boyatt, Transportation Manager for the City of Springfield, started the staff portion of the meeting. He was joined by Celia Barry, Lane County; Rob Inerfeld, City of Eugene; and Petra Schuetz, Planning Director, City of Coburg. 

Mr. Boyatt referred to the Regional Transportation Work Plan that was put together by the staff from the four jurisdictions. This program was intended to bring our State required regional transportation planning in consistency with the federally required regional transportation planning. He noted that the City of Coburg had already made a finding of consistency that their Transportation System Plan was consistent with the Federal Regional Transportation Plan. Because of those findings, it was not necessary that they approve the work plan presented. As part of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) boundary, however, Coburg needed to be involved in the development of the Regional Transportation System Plan and that was why they were participating in today’s meeting.

Councilor Betty Taylor joined the meeting.

Mr. Boyatt noted an email from Bob Courtwright from the Department of Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) which addressed two issues with the work program: 1) It would take some time to complete the land use pieces for Eugene and Springfield, and that the land use forecast needed to occur before the transportation planning could move forward; and 2) The performance measures adopted by the LCDC in 2001 were addressed going ahead into the future. He noted that there was language in the work program that addressed performance measures. These were somewhat separate issues, but were connected in this process.

Mr. Boyatt said the work plan had been discussed once in a previous joint elected officials meeting and at least once among jurisdictions during their individual meetings. The work plan (Attachment A in the agenda packet) was not a policy document. Its purpose was to meet transportation planning goal requirements and consistency between state, regional and federal required plans. He noted that there were tasks and a timeline set out in the work plan shown in Attachment A as two columns. He explained the two columns: Major Work Plan Milestone and Ongoing Coordinated Local and MPO Planning Activities. There were two areas in the memo that were the chief areas of inconsistencies at this time. The first was the planned horizon year. The Local Transportation System Plan (TransPlan) had a planned horizon year of 2015, which was the same as the Metro Plan horizon year. The 2007 Federal Regional Transportation Plan had a horizon year of 2031. The second area of inconsistency was project list consistency. No amendments had been made yet to the TransPlan project list since the 2002 adoption. Some of those amendments had been initiated. When they went through the 2031 Federal Plan, all jurisdictions reviewed the project list and updated it based on projects that were feasible and made sense. He gave examples.

Mr. Boyatt summarized the bullets in the right hand column of the table in Attachment A. This work plan went out a number of years and flexibility was needed to adapt the plan as needed. Each jurisdiction had policy discussions in that direction. Those discussions were outlined on page 3 of the memo included in the agenda packet. There was agreement to amend the existing TransPlan from planning horizon 2015 to 2023. He explained some of the projects that would be moved from this plan.

Commissioners Green and Stewart joined the meeting.

Ms. Barry said the Commissioners met on this item on September 3 and gave helpful comments on what they wanted to see in the plan. Staff had tried to incorporate those ideas in this document, such as more detail on the population forecasting process, that the Lane County board would begin discussions on Metro Plan policy direction and that rural reserve concepts would be included into the work plan. This work plan would evolve and further policy decisions and direction could be incorporated, primarily work done by land management division that affected transportation in the Metro area. She thanked the Commission for their direction.

Mr. Boyatt asked if there were questions or if they preferred staff went through the table.

Commissioner Sorenson asked about the nature of approval. He asked at what point this became a policy issue and would require further decisions.

Ms. Barry said there would be an extensive public involvement process for items related to both the work plan milestones and local and MPO planning activities. The jurisdictions would have their own formal public hearings at which time they would be asked to provide policy decisions.

Mr. Boyatt agreed. Each of the jurisdictions still had the same policy decisions that they would normally have. They would then determine how to bring the different priorities for jurisdictions together. The work program did its best to identify when policy decisions were needed.

Commissioner Sorenson asked if they could give authority to staff to pursue this for only one year to see how things developed.

Mr. Boyatt said the approval requested was to take the work plan to the LCDC who had the legal authority to approve it or not. All of that was intended to meet that requirement in the transportation planning rule (TPR) that our plans needed to be consistent.

Ms. Barry said they were required by the transportation planning rule to bring a work plan.

Commissioner Sorenson asked what would happen if they didn’t like what staff was doing in a year and didn’t want it to continue.

Ms. Barry said they didn’t feel the LCDC would support that as complying with the TPR. She noted that staff from the LCDC were in the audience.

Mr. Boyatt said if that was the collective will of the jurisdictions, staff could go to the LCDC with a one year work plan.

Commissioner Sorenson asked how much money LCDC was giving the jurisdictions and how much implementing the six-year plan would cost.

Mr. Boyatt said it was difficult to know how much it would cost and he wasn’t aware of any funding from the LCDC. There would be discussions with ODOT regarding what fair share of state planning and research funds we could expect for this unfunded mandate.

Commissioner Sorenson asked what other projects would not get done if the County diverted their resources to this work plan.

Ms. Barry said the primary work was City work that was related to urban projects and a lot of the analysis would be done by Lane Council of Governments (LCOG). The County staff’s plan at this time was to be in the loop on regional discussions. There was some debate among staff about what it meant to comply with the regional language in the TPR. County staff was having discussions with legal counsel who were inclined to think there was a minimal approach, with minimal County staff work.

Commissioner Dwyer said there was so much in the horizon. He felt that land use should come before transportation planning.

Ms. Barry said she agreed. She referred to the right side of the chart in Attachment A which showed the land use work that had been going on and was a priority.

Commissioner Dwyer said the County was looking at rural reserves. Under current law, any time the urban growth boundary (UGB) was increased, everything inside was developed and committed. If farmland was put into the UGB, it was gone and used by the cities for other purposes. He gave examples. He felt they needed to think about that for the future to insure that those people that provided the food source didn’t have to pay exorbitant transportation costs in order to grow food. The Board was looking into what they could do to establish rural reserves. He noted that Springfield had an element in their plan that referred to critical soils, and he felt the City and County needed to work together collectively. There was nothing definitive in Eugene’s plan about preserving critical soils.

Commissioner Fleenor said he agreed with Commissioner Dwyer that we needed to move forward cautiously. He recommended that the City of Eugene move the West 11th Avenue out to Veneta, rather than just Terry Street. With respect to the draft document, he asked if there were any choke points that could stop the process.

Ms. Barry said there was co-adoption required at certain points following the public process. If there was disagreement, it could delay the process.

Commissioner Fleenor said the elected officials needed to maintain the highest level of communication and cooperation so they agreed at those junctures.

Ms. Barry referred to the West 11th and Terry issue and noted that it was a short term measure so they could move forward for longer term planning. Beyond Terry would be something the County would look at as far as transportation efforts. That was simply to comply with the consistency requirements of the TPR regarding projects. What Commissioner Fleenor was promoting would not be precluded by this project list.

Mayor Leiken referred to the final paragraph on page 2 which he felt summed up the plan. He read from the document, “While the work plan provides an estimated timeline for completion it should be noted that the work plan will need to remain flexible in order to respond to data and policy direction derived from the activities in the right-hand column.” He said Springfield Council held City staff’s feet to the fire regarding flexibility. Planning was very challenging because of the global community. He complimented staff for including ‘flexibility’.

Councilor Ballew said staff had done a good job of laying out a program of how to get where we needed to be. There was a lot of public involvement. There would be bumps along the way, such as the land studies and Comprehensive Plan discussions, but this was a starting point and it worked. They all had the ability to convene if they felt they needed to change course.

Commissioner Green complimented staff on their work. He asked what would happen when there was no co-adoption of some of the elements. He asked how that would be resolved.

Ms. Barry said the code and plan allowed for the MPC for conflict resolution.

Commissioner Green said that needed to be discussed because MPC was not the best source for resolution. Some agency needed to step up to facilitate in those situations. He asked if not having a major arterial such as the West Eugene Parkway could be a barrier for development in that area.

Ms. Barry said the Board would have to co-adopt. The west Eugene area would be up to the City of Eugene.

Mr. Inerfeld from Eugene said before coming to the Eugene City Council and Lane County Commissioners, staff would do an analysis of the impact of removing the West Eugene Parkway (WEP). In order to remove it, they would need to show that they could balance projects. Removing the WEP from the constrained list would help with that, but they had not yet drawn the model to determine the impact. To address removal of the WEP, they would need to address it on the transportation side. They would work with LCOG to run the model.

Commissioner Green asked about the schedule for looking at alternatives for west Eugene. He asked if that was more of a land use issue in working with the property owners in that area.

Mr. Inerfeld said adopting of the plan amendment to remove the WEP was scheduled for the first quarter of 2009. They may also make some assumptions that the EmX alignment in west Eugene would be part of the plan in that area.

Commissioner Dwyer further discussed rural reserves and noted that they would be outside of the UGB and the Metro Plan.

Ms. Barry said part of the Metro Plan included areas outside of the UGB. Coburg was included in the metro planning.

Commissioner Dwyer said that was for transportation only, but not land use planning. The Lane County Board needed to think about how to maintain security of our community outside the wishes of any specific jurisdictions. He viewed the concepts of rural reserves as a County function, not metro.

Mayor Piercy said the Eugene Council had reviewed the work plan at their last Council meeting, appreciated the work by staff, and had been supportive of the plan. She also noted that Eugene was committed to land use and transportation being addressed together. There was a group of west Eugene leaders that were working together on proposals for how to better move traffic in that area. Those proposals would be brought to the Lane County Commissioners in December. A lot of the people working on the proposals were very vested in transportation and land use.

Councilor Wylie said they were in the middle of an election process. She asked what would happen if a new set of politicians came into positions in January of 2009 that didn’t want the WEP removed, and how that would affect the planning process.

Mr. Boyatt said our land use effort looking to 2013 and transportation system planning would keep moving.

Mr. Inerfeld said this was a five year or longer work plan so would go through several possible changes in elected officials. This tied in other work that was currently in place. He gave exampled. One of the requirements was to make our local transportation plans consistent with the RTP and the WEP was already removed from that. From Eugene’s perspective it was more a question of when they would remove the WEP, not whether or not it would be removed. He noted that the City of Eugene had initiated the amendments to remove the WEP, but it would not be removed until both the Eugene Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners took action to remove it. That was targeted for the first quarter of 2009 in the work plan.

Commissioner Fleenor referred to Councilor Wylie’s comments regarding changes in electors in the near future and Commissioner Sorenson’s suggestion for one-year check-ins on the work plan. He said a recommendation could be to approve this plan for 6 years, with annual reviews to make sure benchmarks were met, co-adoption issues addressed, and issues regarding political changes addressed. That could offer some control on a year to year basis.

Councilor Ortiz thanked Springfield for hosting today’s meeting. She said she appreciated that staff wanted the plan to remain flexible. When the community spoke to her, she tried to fight for their values as she expected other elected officials did. She respected others goals and priorities and asked for the same. She noted that the WEP was being removed, but something did need to be done in that area of town as it affected the whole County. She hoped that when the collaborative group that Mayor Piercy put forth brought their ideas to the table, the City of Eugene could move forward.

Commissioner Sorenson said several staff had mentioned working with LCOG on the modeling. He asked where funding came from for LCOG and how much staff energy they were putting into the six-year effort.

Mr. Boyatt said LCOG was funded by federal pass-through dollars from ODOT, and by the authorization of STP-U (“urban”) funds through the MPC. LCOG staff concurred. There was a combination of options working with LCOG. All of the model work LCOG did for the federal plan should have benefit to development of our local and regional plan as they overlapped. LCOG as the MPO had some prohibition on spending of those dollars. Some of the money the cities and county had identified for these projects could be used for some outside modeling.

Commissioner Sorenson discussed rural reserves. He asked what the current work plan was for rural reserves. He didn’t want that to stop in order to implement this policy.

Commissioner Dwyer said a rural reserve policy was not limited to the metro area.

Ms. Barry said their policy decisions on rural reserves had been with the land management division and she was aware of those. This work program would not preclude them from forming a policy on rural reserves. She would continue to keep in contact with that division regarding that policy.

Commissioner Sorenson asked why transportation staff was involved in land use on this project, but not in the development of rural reserves.

Ms. Barry said transportation staff was not involved in land use, but they did have a responsibility to ensure that transportation didn’t conflict with policy direction from the Commissioners on land use issues. They were required by the TPR to coordinate land use and transportation planning. Transportation planning staff had a responsibility to listen to the conversations on the other issues.

Councilor Clark thanked Springfield for hosting today’s meeting. He asked when the work plan needed to be submitted to the LCDC.

Mr. Boyatt said staff had an appointment with that commission on October 16. They could submit the plan in advance for their discussion. Public testimony would be held on October 16.

Councilor Clark said that was prior to the Eugene Council removing the WEP, which was scheduled for the first quarter of 2009. He asked how that would be reflected in the work plan.

Mr. Inerfeld said the work plan showed that it was anticipated the Eugene Council would remove it in 2009.

Councilor Clark asked if the LCDC would make a determination at that time if the land use planning in west Eugene was consistent.

Mr. Boyatt said LCDC would just be approving the work plan, not the detail. There was an appeal process if needed.

Councilor Clark wanted to know if action taken to this point would put them in conflict with the plan.

Mr. Inerfeld said the modeling would identify what was happening in west Eugene and what the future would hold in terms of land use and transportation.

Ms. Barry said there had been discussion with legal counsel and staff about what to give to LCDC. One possibility was to only give them what was in the left hand column, because that was the only work in complying with the TPR. The right hand column was for the elected officials’ information.

Councilor Taylor said Eugene had already approved the plan. She thanked Springfield for the lunch and for hosting. She noted Councilor Wylie’s remark about the difficulty in making these types of decision during an election year. She said she appreciated Commissioner Dwyer’s comments regarding rural reserves and noted that it tied in with what Eugene had been doing in response to Mayor Piercy’s sustainability. It was important to have food sources close to the people. Cities did have their part in protecting the urban growth boundary.

Commissioner Fleenor said consideration needed to be taken regarding financial challenges that all jurisdictions would be facing. Unless there was major property tax reform, each had structural deficits. When they asked where the money would come from for the long-range planning sessions, it was not a trivial question, but significant. Perhaps the jurisdictions needed to consolidate some of the planning activities. He gave examples. It was time to consider how those services could be consolidated to provide better services to our citizens.

Mayor Piercy said the task at hand was to align the planning processes. She addressed the issues of removal of the WEP. ODOT removed the WEP months ago, so that was no longer debatable. The issue was aligning the plans and dealing with transportation issues in west Eugene.

Mayor Leiken asked staff to clarify the role of ODOT with the WEP.

Mr. Boyatt said in 2007, the federal regional transportation plan adopted by the MPC did not include the WEP. Several months after that, ODOT reached a no vote conclusion and shut the file, selling off acquired right-of-way. The Eugene Council initiated the proposed TransPlan and removed the WEP from that plan.

Commissioner Dwyer agreed the WEP was no longer an issue. He spoke regarding Commissioner Fleenor’s suggestion for check points, tentative adoptions, and choke points and said it was a good idea to include those in the plan.

Mayor Piercy noted that Senator Prozanski and Representative Holvey had requested funding for an analysis of the bottleneck area during the upcoming legislative session.

Mr. Inerfeld said during the first year, there would be a lot of regional dialogue throughout the process. He explained.

Commissioner Green made A motion to approve THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION work plan and forward IT TO the Land Conservation and Development Commission. eUGENE CITY COUNCILOR Clark seconded.

Commissioner Green said he was supportive of the concept of rural reserve; there was a pilot program being tested by the metro area in Portland and the Board became intrigued by that concept. He suggested caution, however, because they didn’t know what all it meant and the impact it would have on those that lived in the rural areas that may want to make application to develop their own property. He was supportive of this work plan and it should be moved forward to LCDC. The jurisdictions could come back together to determine how to proceed the rest of the way.

Councilor Lundberg said she was comfortable with the plan. Eugene had already approved the plan, and it was a simple work plan that would get us where we needed to go. Within this plan was a myriad of ability for the public to weigh in. She supported forwarding it on to LCDC.

Councilor Ballew made a friendly amendment to the motion, to adopt the plan, but direct staff to bring it back to the joint elected officials each year to address any issues.

Commissioner Green accepted the amendment.

Legal Counsel for Lane County advised that each jurisdiction should have their own motion and second.

COMMISSIONER GREEN MOVED, AND COMMISSIONER STEWART SECONDED, TO approve THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION work plan and forward IT TO the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

Commissioner Fleenor asked that a friendly amendment to the motion be added that prior to September 15 of each year staff provide an annual update meeting.

Commissioner Stewart said yearly check-ins may not be necessary as there would be many occasions when staff would bring this to each jurisdiction. He didn’t want to put a specific date on when it needed to come back to them.

Commissioner Fleenor said those meetings would be on specific issues and he would like the annual discussion to be on the broad range of issues.

Commissioner Dwyer said he supported the motion as amended.

Mayor Leiken clarified that each jurisdiction needed to vote on this separately.

Discussion was held regarding the current motion and the need to be consistent.

Legal counsel suggested all jurisdictions withhold voting until all agreed on the motion.

Councilor Ballew said she agreed they should approve the work plan, but direct staff to meet each year with the elected officials to report back. Councilor Woodrow agreed.

Commissioner Green noted that having the motion stated in the packet would have been helpful and also notation that the motion needed to be voted on separately by each jurisdiction. He asked that staff provide that information in the future.

Discussion was held regarding the motion that was on the table.

Legal counsel said it might be beneficial to separate this into two motions: the first to approve the work plan and the second motion could be related to an annual check-in meeting.

ON BEHALF OF THE EUGENE CITY COUNCIL, COUNCILOR CLARK MOVED, AND COUNCILOR PRYOR SECONDED, TO approve THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION work plan and forward IT TO the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

Mayor Volta asked if there was an issue because they did not have a quorum.

It was noted by Coburg staff member, Petra Schuetz, that Coburg did not need to be a party to the work plan so did not need to vote.

ON BEHALF OF THE SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL, COUNCILOR WYLIE MOVED, AND COUNCILOR PISHIONERI SECONDED, TO approve THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION work plan and forward IT TO the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

Councilor Pishioneri said it made sense to collaboratively accept the plan, but he felt Springfield staff automatically gave Council updates on issues as they arose. Each jurisdiction could follow their own policies on the reporting issue.

Commissioner Fleenor said Lane County needed to vote or remove the motion regarding annual check-ins.

Commissioner Green withdrew his motion and Commissioner Stewart withdrew his second on the ORIGINAL Lane County motion.

ON BEHALF OF THE LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, COMMISSIONER GREEN MOVED, AND COMMISSIONER STEWART SECONDED, TO approve THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION work plan and forward IT TO the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

THE MOTION PASSED WITH A UNANIMOUS VOTE OF ALL THREE JURISDICTIONS.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

ON BEHALF OF THE LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, COMMISSIONER DWYER MOVED THAT STAFF GIVE THE COMMISSION A ONE YEAR CHECK-IN ON THE PLAN.

COMMISSIONER SORENSON SECONDED, AND ASKED FOR A FRIENDLY AMENDMENT TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE IN ABOUT A MONTH, ON THE RURAL RESERVE PROGRAM.

Ms. Barry noted that she would not be the staff person on the Rural Reserve issue. It was noted that Mr. Spartz, would coordinate with the appropriate staff. She asked about regular check-ins with the joint elected officials and if that would be sufficient.

Commissioner Fleenor said he wanted a comprehensive view once a year versus point by point.

Commissioner Stewart noted that this motion was for Lane County Board of Commissioners only.

THE MOTION PASSED WITH A VOTE OF 5 FOR AND 0 AGAINST.

Mayor Leiken thanked the staff from the LCDC for being in the audience today. He said it was key to communicate with staff as we moved forward.

Mayor Piercy asked the Eugene City Manager to provide an update on the fires in west Eugene and expressed appreciation for the partnership effort to put out those fires.

Mr. Ruiz said there was a significant wildland fire in west Eugene over the weekend. He thanked all the jurisdictions for their help. They were able to control the fires, which could have been significant fires that were threatening structures. It was a good example of regional cooperation.

ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Leiken adjourned the meeting at 1:25pm.

Minutes Recorder – Amy Sowa

 

______________________    

Sidney W. Leiken    

Mayor

 

Attest:

 

____________________

Amy Sowa

City Recorder