BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING

April 7, 2009
10:00 a.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 12/1/2010

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.

 1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Handy asked to pull item 5.c.1) from tomorrow’s Consent Calendar.  He wanted the Sheriff to be available to discuss the item.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Mia Nelson, Lowell, said that the population forecasts have to be in a special purpose plan, not in the rural part of the Comp Plan.  She noted under Lane Code, the Rural Comp Plan is only for areas outside of UGB’s.  She said only the Board could initiate special purpose plans, but anyone could start a Rural Comp Plan amendment and that was what the small cities did.  She said their arguments caught the attention of the Planning Commissioners on April 17 last year and they asked Kent Howe questions. She stated that Howe said that the OAR’s require the forecasts to be included in the Comp Plan or a document referenced by the Comp Plan.  She thought the Board should direct staff to move to protect the Board’s authority by adopting the PSU Forecast as a special purpose plan.  She said if they do that, they will never have to deal with another small city PAPA forecast request because the Board alone will retain the authority to decide when and how forecast updates are done.  She said if the Board decides that the forecast must be placed in special purpose plans, then that PAPA cannot comply because it was initiated by the Board. She said the Board has to figure this out before they do anything with the small city PAPA.  She thought if the Board tells staff they want them to adopt the forecast as special purpose plans, they will adopt them.  She hoped the Board chooses to protect their authority.  

Robert Emmons, Fall Creek, thought there were three serious consequences in placing the forecast in the rural part of the Comp Plan.  He said it userp’s the Board’s authority as sole initiator of forecasts.  He noted Lane Code 16.400 (9) states that only the Board has the power to initiate Special Purpose Plan Amendments, but amendment to the rural part of the Comp Plan may be initiated by others.  He noted that the small cities used their  PAPA process to try to force the County to adopt their modified LCOG forecast.   He said it takes away the Board’s ability to control who does the forecasting.  He added the same code states that the parties wanting a Special Purpose Plan Amendment must offer to pay the County’s cost in preparing a new forecast.  He said placing the forecast into the rural part of the Comp Plan would allow the small cities to sidestep this requirement.  He said this means instead of paying the County’s cost, cities can present their own forecast, prepared any way they choose and force the County to process their application free.  He said it puts the County in a disadvantage position releative to cities.  He said it allows the small cities to act as”applicants” instead of participating on an equal footing with the public in a true legislative style process.  He said in the small cities PAPA application before the Planning Commission, the cities were able to give a lengthy applicant’s presentation while members of the public were only allowed three minutes.  He added that after the public spoke, small cities were allowed additional time to make an applicant’s rebuttal and after the record was closed, the small cities were allowed additional time for rebuttal.  He commented that the public was disadvantaged relative to small city applicants.  He commented that none of this constituted good government. He said staff should be protecting the Board’s authority to control how forecasting is done instead of buying into the code interpretation the small cities want.  He indicated that the Board has the authority to make a code interpretation that the foecasts must be placed in a special purpose plan.  He said if they fail to do this, then be prepared for cities to force the County to process other forecast requests in the future whenever and however they choose.

Jim Babson, Lowell, discussed the population forecast.  He said it is discouraging to have to come back to the Board on this ssue.  He commented that the special interest groups are atteming to run around the land use process and usurp the Board’s authority to adopt population numbers as part of a special purpose plan.

Judy Volta, Mayor of Coburg, said as the mayor or a small city, they have worked with the County for a long time and they don’t consider themselves a special interest group, they are a member city.  She stated that it is critical for Coburg to be able to have numbers they can go forward with.  She said they have had a wastewater plan that has begun.  She added that they are fighting to keep their school. She commented that they are a small city that in cooperation with Lane County has had adopted numbers they have planned on and it is important they are able to see their way through to this.  She said the Board has the power to be able to say yes to them and be a small city as a regional employer.   She doesn’t want unrestrained growth, they want planned small growth in keeping with the small city that could be sustainable.  She asked the Board to work with them with the numbers they have already been granted as part of their planning strategy. 

Milo Mecham, LCOG, stated that he represents the city of Coburg.  He has submitted written materials for the record. (Copy in file).  He commented there are serious process problems with the projections made by PSU that the County has for consideration this afternoon.  He said the numbers don’t correspondence to the official state projection numbers the County is required by law to follow or to make findings why they should not be followed.  He added that there is nothing in the PSU numbers that explains the process of why they are deviating from the state numbers.  He said there needs to be findings included in the process and those findings are not there.  He commented the important thing for the city of Coburg is the deviations in the County numbers between the official state projection and the PSU projection. He said Coburg could get a more appropriate population projection without altering the process or the methodlogy and it would still be legitimate.  He said an important factor to remember is the County and Coburg have co-adopted population projection numbers that Coburg believes are more realistic in 2005, when those numbers were adopted.  He said there is no explanation of why the Portland State numbers are significantly smaller and that is an important factor for the city of Coburg .  He added that the city of Coburg has also made other planning decisions that the County has been aware of, based on this larger population projection.  He said Coburg believes the population projection should be approximately 4,000 people for the year 2030 instead of 1,800 that PSU has projected.  He said the planning documents Coburg has adopted or has modified reflects the larger numbers.  He said Coburg believes that the population projection should be approximately 4,000 people.  He added that Coburg has a significant investment and the County has already adopted numbers that more closely correspond to those and they believe those are more correct than the PSU numbers.

Lisa Arkin, Eugene , spoke on roadside herbicide spray.  She asked the Board to work with the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners to ask ODOT not to spray herbicides this spring in sensitive sites.

3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE

Dwyer wanted to know what the Board’s authority was for Land Management.  He also wanted Kent Howe to know their authority.

Richardson didn’t know what the statement was because she wasn’t at the Planning Commission meeting.  It is her understanding that the Board can make a policy decion where they want to adopt this but it hasn’t been adopted yet.

Dwyer asked Spartz to direct staff to keep them on track and not give misinformation.

Sorenson reported that on March 12, at the Metropolitan Policy Planning Committee, they spent time on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and how their unified planning work program would address local efforts toward reducing greenhouse gases.  He said Mark Pengborn, LTD, sent him a letter and a document from the Federal Transit Administrattion that transporation accounts for 28 percent of all U.S. gas emissions.  He said there is a lot of work for them to do.

Handy said they have to be pro active with greenhouse gases.

Stewart commented that the issues with the population forecast are difficult.  He said he has worked with Coburg and their plight to deal with their sanitation system and the groundwater pollution that has taken place in Coburg to move forward.  He said they moved forward with the information they had at the time.  He added that they made decisions based on those numbers and signed contracts with people to do work.  He hoped as they move forward and make decisions, that they understand there might be implications where if it puts them in a financial bind or bankrupts the city, he hope they understand the decisions they make.  He didn’t think it was good government.  He commented working together with their partners and citizens to try to do the best they can for everyone and have the best livable community is good government. 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

5. ONE PAGER REPORTS

None.

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

a. PRESENTATION/Watershed Councils.

Larry Six, Dana Erickson, Eve Montenero, Pam Reiber, Liz Volumer-Buhl and Jim Pendergrass. Gave an update on what they have done the past year with their watershed councils. (Copy in file).

Pendergrass asked the Board to write a letter of support to have LCOG waive the $125 fee they have to pay per year.  He also asked the County to contribute to each watershed council.

Sorenson asked if Spartz could contact the Public Works Director to see if they could use road fund dollars to provide funding to watershed councils.  He wanted a work session on the riparian, floodplain and urban growth planning.  He also wanted to see if they could give $500 to each watershed council to come from the road fund.  He was interested in each of the watershed councils sending an e-mail to say they have appointed someone to a possible task force.  He wanted them to send a request to support or oppose legislation, to support funding, letters of support to Congress or the Oregon Legislature and the Board will follow up on the road fund issue.

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 12:05 p.m.  

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary