BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’

REGULAR MEETING

April 1, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall

APPROVED 4/29/2009

 

Commissioner Pete Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy and Faye Stewart present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

9. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 09-4-1-13/In the Matter of Certification of Final Assessments for Improvements to Bolton Hill Road (County Road Number 1183) Between Mile Post 0.00 and Mile Post 0.653, and Setting Lien Values Against Adjacent Properties.

 

Frank Simas, Public Works, explained that the purpose of today’s hearing is to hear objections to the final assessment amounts for the Bolton Hill Road improvement project.  He said the motion before the Board is to certify the final assessment amount.  He noted that these amounts had been made subject to a pending lien in January 2008 by ORDER 08-1-16-3.  He indicated that the project is now complete and has been declared complete for the purpose of levying the final assessments by the County Engineer on January 9, 2009 and by the Director of Public Works on January 12, 2009.  He noted that the total cost for the improvement project was $1,630,026, of which $190,459.63 may be assessed to the benefiting properties.  He said in accordance with Lane Code Chapter 15, $45,868.34 of the assessments are for properties that do not take vehicular access from Bolton Hill Road and according to Lane Code, shall be deferred.  He indicated the assessable items included in this assessment are the curb, gutter, sidewalks and driveway approaches.  He noted that the estimated assessments for this project were $240,322.38 and the final assessment amount reflects a reduction of $49,862.75 or 20.7 percent. 

 

Simas explained that upon certification of the final assessment amounts by the Board, notification will be sent to the affected owners that the assessments are due and payable within 30 days unless arrangements are made through installment payments.  He indicated per past practice, the interest rate for any amount not paid within 30 days is the prime rate plus three percent, or for this assessment, 6.25 percent.  He added that notification is to be sent to the property owners and will include the forms for requesting installment payments and information about the senior deferral program available through the State of Oregon Department of Revenue.  He stated staff’s recommendation is for approval of the order certifying the assessment amounts.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened the Public Hearing.  There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.

 

Handy asked how they could change the template when they look at these types of swaps.  He said the County foregoes maintenance and liability and spends money to upgrade the facilities.  He wanted to look more in depth at the policies and re-examine some of their assumptions.

 

Stewart explained that this project was approved by the Board three or four years ago.  He said the Board gave the go ahead to form the IGA and to proceed with the process. 

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-4-1-13.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1256/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land from "Rural Residential" to "Rural Commercial" and Rezoning that Land from "RR-5/Rural Residential" to " RC/Rural Commercial”; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses. (File PA 06-5600; Powell) (NBA & PM 3/18/09).

 

Jerry Kendall, Land Management, explained that the purpose of this hearing is a public hearing on the plan amendment zone change.  He stated that it is a quasi judicial procedure.  He indicated that all testimony needs to be part of the record for the Board to deliberate.  He stated that anyone present who wishes to raise an issue needs to do that because the record will close when the hearing closes if they intend to appeal on to LUBA.

 

Sorenson asked if there were any ex parte contacts.

 

There were none

 

Kendall indicated that the subject property is located at 33907 E. Martin Road near Creswell, adjacent to the city of Creswell Airport.  He added that there is an adjoining property next to the interstate that is also owned by the applicant.  He indicated that the owner owns the subject property, has a track of land and wishes to expand his business. 

 

Kendall noted that the general criteria for plan amendment and zone change are found in Lane Code 16.400 and 16.252.  He said with regard to Rural Comp Plan Policies, Goal 2, Land Use Planning Policy 11, it has an allowance for applying a commercial zoning to a track of land that has an already established use.  He added that same policy goes into the level of services and the tract is well served by water.  He said it has a well on the current commercial tract that generates 19 gallons per minute.  He said the area logs from the watermaster indicate there are 12 to 60 gallons per minute flow in the entire area and there is no problem for the water supply.

 

Kendall indicated that access is via East Martin Road and the proposal was evaluated by Lane County’s transportation planners.  He said they saw no issues with traffic generation. He added that the septic is fine and there is an existing drainfield on the house.  He noted that currently the proposal is to expand the existing business of farm implement sales.  He added that if the applicant in the future (or any subsequent owner) wants to do any of the other uses allowed in the Rural Commercial Zone, there is a special use permit process in which the planning director would evaluate care and capacity issues again.

 

With regard to the rezone, Kendall said the proposal must also meet Rural Commercial and the intended purpose of the Rural Commercial Zone is to establish commercial services that serve rural residents in their services and trade.  With regard to Goal 14 issues, he said there is no interference with resource land or none adjoining the subject property.  He indicated that it is a pocket of developed and committed lands.  He added that the proposal gets policy support under Goal 9, in that it promotes the local economy and that policy encourages expansion of existing businesses. 

 

Kendall stated that they received no comments or objections from any party.  He notified the city and all adjoining landowners by legal notice.  He stated that the Planning Commission heard this item back in 2006 and they closed the Public Hearing.  He added that they brought it back to the Planning Commission on February 19, 2008 and they voted unanimously to support this endeavor.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened the Public Hearing

 

Larry Reed, Eugene, stated that he is the planner for the owner.  He agreed with staff’s recommendation of approval and requested the Board’s approval.  He said he signed the contract with the project on February 25, 2005 for an expansion of the existing farm implement building.  He said he wanted this approved so the rural farm equipment business can expand.

 

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

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1256.

 

Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Dwyer approved this motion.  He said it is ideal for this purpose and there is no land conflict.

 

Fleenor supported this, as it will continue economic vitality of the County and its citizens.

 

Handy asked with future use changes, what criteria the Planning Director looks for and if there is an appeals process.

 

Kendall responded that there is an appeals process.  He noted the most appropriate one deals with care and capacity for water.  He said Lane Code 16.291(3),  lists all the uses and (4) has the standards.  He said they go from A to J.  He explained that it has to go with the floor area being limited.  He said this property is not in a community and it is more limited in its size than if the expansion were occurring inside of a community.  He said that the use and design is compatible with the surrounding vicinity with proper landscaping, fencing to minimize adverse impact on existing and contemplated abutting land uses.  He added that there is suitable planting of ground cover, adequately served by community services and other facilities suitable for the intended uses.  He noted that F deals with traffic generation and it links into Lane Code Chapter 15.   He read that the proposed use and development shall not exceed the caring capacity of the soil or the existing water supply, resources and sewer service.

 

Sorenson asked if there was a state or county goal the development  needed to meet or exceed for a state energy efficiency policy.  He asked if that was optional.

 

Kendall said that is a building code issue when they actually build new structures.  He said they have energy conservation Goal 13 that has some encouragement for any energy efficient building.

 

Sorenson asked if this would add or diminish efficient energy usage in the County.

 

Kendall stated that it is part of their adopted plan and all the policies should be addressed.  He didn’t recall if they addressed the energy results in the findings.

 

Commissioner Sorenson reopened the hearing to allow Reed to answer his question.

 

Reed believed they did.  He said his client needs it for an area of storage of equipment to have more inventory on hand.  He said if he was to build a building, it would be for an unheated storage unit.  He made an argument about energy and putting this type of use in the rural areas closer where the people live that need the equipment to purchase instead of driving on county and city roads into a metro area to have some of it disbursed.

 

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

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0. 

 

c. ON THE RECORD HEARING/In the Matter of Hearing Arguments on an Appeal of a Hearings Official’s Reconsideration Decision Approving in Part, and Denying in Part, an Application for a Recreational Vehicle, Boat, and Self-Storage Facility in the Rural Residential Zone (RR-5), Map and Tax Lot T18-R03-S24 TL 4600 (File No. PA 07-6721/McCabe).

 

Sorenson reported that participation is limited to the person identified in the board order, the appellant and the applicant.  He asked if there were any ex parte contacts.

 

There were none.

 

Rafael Sebba, Land Management, stated that he sent notice for this hearing but he hadn’t heard back from the applicant or applicant’s representative.

 

Dwyer said they should postpone this until they find out if the applicant can come.

 

Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, commented that if the Board wants a clean process, they would run a risk by moving forward on this.  He said they would have to redo the arguments.  He thought they should confirm with the applicant and set this out for a couple of weeks, unless they hear from the applicant that he doesn’t work for them.

 

Fleenor asked what happens if the applicant doesn’t show up at the next hearing.

 

Vorhes said the Board could listen to the testimony and then make a decision.

 

Mike Farthing, for the appellant, said they are ready to go forward on the hearing.  He thought it was unfair if the Board postpones the hearing, as it costly.

 

MOTION: to move the Public Hearing on this matter to April 15, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

 

Sorenson said they would ask staff to contact the applicant and then determine if they are going to come to the hearing.   He wanted staff to report back on April 15.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

d. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 09-4-1-14/In the Matter of Granting an Exemption From Competitive Bidding for a Construction Contract on a Steam Heating System for the Lane County Courthouse and Public Service Building, and Addition of This Work to the Existing Energy Savings Performance Contract with McKinstry Essention, Inc. for Lane County Adult Corrections Facility.

 

Spartz reported that this proposal came out of a decision by EWEB to discontinue supplying municipal steam heat.  He indicated that it affects the Public Safety Building and the Jail.  He said they had previously had approval from the Board to retain McKinstry to do an energy audit to determine whether or not there would be enough savings from retro fitting new facilities for this building and the Jail. He though  they could recover the costs through energy savings.  He believed the findings from that report suggest that they could do it.  He said they need to go on to phase 2, the development of the proposal.  He said if that is approved, McKinstry would develop the proposal, demonstrate the feasibility of the energy savings and then the Board would make a decision to award a contract.  He commented that doing it this way does not prevent them from using competitive processes.  He indicated that they need a certain measure of control from their selected vendor because they are guarantying these energy savings.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened the Public Hearing, There being no one else signed to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.

 

Sorenson asked Spartz if this was ready to move forward.

 

Spartz recommended approval.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-4-1-14.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said this has been done before.  He thought it was in the government’s interest to move this forward.

 

Fleenor supported this.  He said they are buying this so there is a guaranteed energy savings. 

 

Handy commented that given the lack of an energy policy in Lane County, they could move Lane County in the right direction and accrue savings.  He thought it was a good investment.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

10. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. DISCUSSION/Cost of Doing Due Diligence on Golden Gardens in Conjunction with City of Eugene.

 

Dwyer reported that he had a lengthy discussion with John Ruiz, City Manager, city of Eugene.  Dwyer said Ruiz didn’t think there was any problem and thought they would be better off if they did some collaboration.  Dwyer said Ruiz didn’t have strong feelings about depriving the County of the opportunity to fulfill the option to buy. Dwyer said Ruiz would not be adverse to a six month extension, or whatever it takes to make the transaction happen.  He said even though the County has an option and they exercise the option, it has to go to the city council.  He wanted to make sure they had enough time to get the information to make the right decision.

 

Spartz asked David Suchart, Management Services, to get a range of estimates on the cost of doing due diligence.  Spartz indicated that Suchart was unable to get the work done and he couldn’t give an estimate.  He said the Board could go forward or they could delay this until they find out the information.

 

MOTION: to direct Jeff Spartz to work with John Ruiz and the Mayor to develop options to bring back to the Board.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor wanted to amend the motion to state to come back with the longest possible option.

 

Dwyer accepted the amended motion.

 

Handy stated there is misinformation in the community about the County having money to spend on this.  He wanted to have a broad conversation about this within other economic development goals.

 

Stewart stated that he had been supportive of this issue.  He was disappointed to learn the size of the parcel the city wanted to sell went from 100 acres to 60 acres.  He was concerned about long term commitments with spending video lottery money as the amounts are dwindling.  He wanted to know why the acreage changed and what was happening with the video lottery money.  He indicated that there needs to be an education process for the citizens.  He said they now have a new Fair Board Manager that needs to be involved with anything that takes place in the future.

 

Dwyer recalled the County entered into a good faith agreement to buy up to 100 acres.  He didn’t know if it had changed.  He commented that the public doesn’t understand the different pots of money.  He indicated that video lottery money is for economic development or economic potential.  He wanted to give future boards an opportunity to determine the best and most appropriate use for that piece of property.  He thought at some point in time it might make sense to do some industrial commercial development.  He wanted to use the property in the interim for the best possible way they can through community gardens, or leasing it back to the city.

 

Fleenor indicated that it takes intergenerational planning today to move it forward.  He commented because they are under such economic constraints, he wanted to go slow and do this incrementally.  He wanted to ask to get an extension of the option and spending as little as possible today to ensure they have intergenerational planning opportunities.  He thought they should do their due diligence when they find something they are going to do with the property and when they have the money.  He didn’t think they could do the due diligence today.

 

Fleenor asked Spartz what this would entail with regard to expenditure of County resources other than negotiating with the city manager for an extension of an option.

 

Dwyer thought this was an appropriate use of economic development money to do the due diligence and they would not be taking the money from the general fund.

 

Spartz thought the bulk of the expense would come from using staff time and an outreach into the community.

 

Handy said it wasn’t that he wanted to have a community conversation, he wanted a history of how they got to where they are today.  He said when they have that conversation for the citizens, they can see how they came up with the timeline.  He wanted Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, to be involved, but he wasn’t envisioning a lot of staff time.

 

Sorenson supported the motion to get an extension of time.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

11. COUNTY COUNSEL

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. ORDER 09-4-1-15/In the Matter of Clarifying the Process for the Appointment of Members to Advisory Committees, Boards and Commissioners, and Directing Staff to Bring Forward Modifications to Lane Manual.

 

Sorenson wanted to know the Board’s intention in getting good people to apply and be appointed to the various advisory committees.  His understanding is that this board order clarifies committees and organizations where each commissioner would select a member for the Board. He said the subsequent process for other members is that the organization itself would advertise, interview and recommend members to be appointed and the Board of Commissioners would appoint those other members.

 

Richardson explained that there are many different ways to appoint people to committees in their current appointment processes.    She indicated that she focused on committees, as that was where the Board has the most power and authority for appointments.  With regard to boards and commission, she said there is usually a level of detail included in the appointment process by the legislation that created those boards and commissions. She prepared a proposed board order outlining what she had heard from commissioners on what process they felt the most comfortable with.  She wanted to see if there was interest in having consistency when it comes to how appointees are appointed to the advisory boards.  She indicated that it is difficult for staff and for the committee members to determine how the appointment process works for their different committees because some of the departments supervise several different committees, all of which have different appointment processes.  She put a possible option in the agenda packet.

 

Sorenson asked which committees had commissioner positions so they could straighten things out.

 

Richardson responded that some of the committees already have board appointees.  She indicated others were more difficult and they would have to go back and give a deadline to report back to the Board as to who wishes to fill which slot.  She said it would take some staff work.  She indicated some committees have specific term limits.  She suggested that everyone serve at the will of the commissioner that appoints them, or if they are at-large positions, they serve at the will of the board, but for no longer than four years without reappointment.

 

Fleenor agreed with the board order and wanted to add two more components: for number five: if a commissioner fails to make an appointment within 90 days of notice of vacancy, then the Board of Commissioners may make the appointment, which appointee shall serve their normal term.  He said for number six:  if a majority of any advisory committee recommends the termination of a member of that committee, then that recommendation would be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners for disposition. 

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-4-1-15 with the two additions.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Richardson reiterated that this would be if a committee is made up of five members, each commissioner would appoint their own person.  She said they would serve at the will of the commissioner, but for not longer than four years without a re-appointment.  She added that if there are more than five members (unless otherwise provided by law) five of the members would be appointed by each commissioner.  She indicated that the rest would be at large.  She said the review and interview process would be done by the rest of the committee members and they would forward on recommendations to the Board.  She said it is the Board who appoints or chooses to re-open the process.

 

Spartz stated the provision under two gave him concern:  he said if there is a committee that is divided strongly on policy issues, the majority might use the opportunity to make additional appointments to pack the committee, which may in the long run not prove to be in the Board’s interest.

 

Handy noted the board order stated he had to appoint someone from his district.  He asked if that was still the case.

 

Richardson said currently that was what was stated, but it was the most consistent way in the past. She added that it could be changed.  She said if the Board wanted to state: “shall be appointed by a designated commissioner,” she could state the position and it could be posted anywhere in the County.

 

Handy stated he would be more comfortable with that option.

 

Dwyer agreed that he wanted to be able to use anyone within the County.

 

Fleenor amended his motion to reflect Handy’s request.

 

Handy asked to amend the motion for the removal of a sitting member to be a simple majority.  He said a recommendation from a committee could remove a member if a majority of the committee was a simple majority.

 

Richardson said she will find a way to write it so it is more than a simple majority.

 

Fleenor agreed to the amendment to the motion, Dwyer agreed to the second.

 

Richardson said this motion could be approved in concept and she would bring back the revised board order next week on the Consent Calendar.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

12. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

13. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

14. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor announced that he will have a community dialogue tomorrow at the Eagles Golf Course in Santa Clara with city councilman Mike Clark.

 

Stewart reported that on Friday he will attend the Council on  Forest Trust meeting in Salem.  He said he will be meeting with people for options on industrial sites and doing something different with them.

 

Handy noted in the recent issue of NACo’s newsletter, there was an article about counties selling their surplus vehicles on E-Bay.  He indicated that a regular auction yielded a certain amount, but when they went to E-Bay they turned more of a profit.  He talked about the Lane Workforce Partnership and their helping workers and businesses.

 

Sorenson indicated that there is a demand for short term and seasonal employment in Lane County.  He said people who have been laid off are applying for the jobs.  He said it is hard for people who have been laid off.  He said they will offer the jobs when available and when they have the funding.  He said a lot of people are applying for the jobs because people are desperate.

 

15. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660(L) for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.  Per ORS 192.660(2)(d) for the purpose of conducting deliberations with labor negotiators  Per ORS 192.660 (f) for the purpose of discussing personnel matters.

 

17. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:35 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary