BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING

April 7, 2009
1:30 p.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. 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

b. DISCUSSION/Evidence Based Practices and DYS budget/outcomes.

Lisa Smith, Department of Youth Services, indicated they have shared this information with the 36 Oregon Juvenile Departments, the Oregon Youth Authority, the five Western State Juvenile Authority Directors, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and they presented this at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Annual Conference in St. Louis last March.  She indicated the model was also used by the Oregon Juvenile Department Directors Association in the 07/09 Budget reduction decisions in the position paper.

Linda Wagner, Department of Youth Services, gave a presentation on evidence based practices and how they make decisions based on data. (Copy in file).

c. DISCUSSION/Goal One and streamlining the process land use appeals.

Jim Just, Goal One Coalition, gave a power point presentation. (Copy in file).

Sorenson asked if the Board wanted to do this if they could have a joint hearing with the Lane County Planning Commission.  He indicated that any amendment to the existing code would require a joint hearing before the Board makes a decision

Vorhes responded that the Board has the ability to start a process of code amendments.

Laura Potter, Home Builders, gave her perspective on Lane Code 14. (Copy in file).

Sorenson indicated that Just and Potter will work together with proposed changes and then e-mail the Board.

Spartz indicated that as this develops, for staff to calculate the impacts.

d. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION/Impact of Lane County Coordinated Population Study by PSU on Safe Harbor and Pending Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendments (PAPA).

Matt Laird, Land Management, said he was asked to attend this meeting to discuss a letter the Board received from the city of Springfield dated March 20, 2009.  He noted that letter informed this Board that the Springfield City Council would hear a Metro Plan amendment to adopt the Safe  Harbor population figures into the cityís Comprehensive Plan. He noted that meeting was held on April 6, 2009.  He attended the meeting and submitted a letter requesting that the record be left open for two weeks to provide an opportunity for this Board to submit comments into that record.  He stated at this point Land Management staff wanted to know if there are specific comments the Board wanted submitted into the record.  He said they can develop a letter to be brought back next week for Board review and have it submitted in a timely manner into the city of Springfieldís process.  He recalled there are three population projects going on that Lane County is working with.  He noted the Metro Safe Harbor PAPA application was applied for in September 2008, and was heard by the joint Planning Commissions in November 2008 and those Planning Commissions recommended adoption to their electeds.   He said there was some question whether it was going to be heard in a JEO meeting or not.  He said that Springfield decided not to wait and they have moved forward on theirs.  He added there is also the small cities PAPA application applied for in June 2008 that was heard by the Planning Commission in March 2009 and is scheduled to come to the Board for a first reading on April 28 and hearing on May 20.  He noted the final application is Lane County and PSU coordinated population forecast, initiated by the Board of Commissioners in August 2008.  He recalled they held multiple public meetings and city coordinated meetings and at this time they are waiting for the methodology report and draft population forecast.  He said once that report comes out, it might answer some questions that were brought up earlier in Public Comment from the city of Coburg, looking for methodologies and justifications for the numbers.  He said when they go to the  Planning Commission, there is still a question whether this Board would like that to go to the Planning Commission, and then a Board meeting, or to do it jointly in a hearing process.

Dwyer didnít like to do these things in Joint Elected Officials meetings.  He thought they should operate independently.  He didnít mind a joint meeting with the  Planning Commisison, but he doesnít want to vote at the same time the Planning Commission votes. He wants to keep an independent armís length away.   He asked what happened if the County said no to the safe harbor.

Laird stated then it could never be formally co-adopted.  He said there would be questions whether it was correctly added to the Metro Plan. He said the reason the statute was put in was for cities that donít get decisions from counties to have the ability to move on.

Vorhes said there are possible avenues where the other cities could do their work and figure out where the urban growth boundary ought to be.  He stated that it will ultimately end up in front of the Board of Commissioners and the Board will have the opportunity to weigh in. With regard to the relationship of the PSU study, he said it is based on the current UGB.  He said the PSU study will not give a number for the Springfield urban area, separate from the Eugene urban area.   He commented the Safe Harbor process doesnít drive the countywide PSU study.

Fleenor commented that he sees smoke and mirrors.   He said Lane Code 16.400 is a mess.  He said he wasnít happy about this.  He thinks they took action because they hired PSU.  He said Springfield gave them a six month notice and they took action and they are in the process of completing the PSU numbers.  He thought they were justified and in a defensible position to deny their request for a safe habor.  He wanted to see a complete revision of Lane Code 16.400 and take the contradictory language out so they have clarity.

Sorenson asked if they can deny Springfieldís request.

Vorhes responded that the Board will eventually have that presented to them and they will have the opportunity to decide based on what is presented on what the Board wants to do.  He cautioned the Board to pre judge prior to seeing what is in the record and brought to them.  He was nervous about the Board having conversations and expressing how they are going to vote on a matter that has yet to reach them.  He added if the Board muddies the water around the Springfield matters, it will make things difficult to sustain what this Board chooses to do.

Handy thought clarity would be helpful.  He wants to make sure there is a level playing field not only for their small cities but with the processes that the residents and business community have as the same level playing field when issues are brought before them.  He wants to see a coordinated role for Lane County with the PAPAís.

MOTION: to ask Richardson to prepare a board order that might include asking the administrator be directed to work with LMD staff to modified Lane Code Chapter 16.400 to clearly state that any future population forecast shall be solely initiated by the County under a special purpose plan.  To bring back changes in the code necessary to implement the motion.

Handy MOVED,  Dwyer SECONDED.

Stewart preferred they hold as many public hearings and separate them from the Planning Commission.  He heard from the citizens they wanted a public process and as many opportunities to speak.  He didnít think combining the meetings meets the request he heard from the citizens.  He thought they should deal with each item individually and on its own merit. He wanted to use each process in place. He was concerned because some of the comments that were made seemed like they were already preparing to deny things.  He thought that was a mistake and doesnít lead  him to believe that the Board is preaching good governance every day as the governance model.  He appreciated living by the words they state and move forward as a body that tries to practice good governance.

Sorenson asked if they could say in their comments there are concerns about the large number of requests and the Board has taken the effort to put together a public process.  He thought they could have an Executive Session to talk about the status of the litigation involved to examine what Lane Countyís position should be.

Vorhes said they could give Springfield all of their views about what their action means and how the Board thinks things should proceed.   He said they could discuss the legal issues around the statute and the Metro Plan and who needs to act.  He said the Board could come up with a list of things they want to express to the city of Springfield and the council around their proposal to amend the Metro Plan with population figures calculated using the safe harbor method under the statute and how this Board views that in terms of the larger picture.

Fleenor said with the adoption of the PSU numbers, they are falling behind their schedule.  He said if they had a joint meeting with the Planning Commission it would put them back on track with their schedule. He noted with Eugeneís desire to use Safe Harbor, he said there was language stating that the Board of Commissioners had to adopt the forecast within six months, but AOC indicated that six months is not enough time and instead of adoption, to take action.  He indicated that they did it. He believed that it is an unrecoverable error that cannot be corrected and they need to make a decision and move forward versus having another hearing when the result is they can take action within the six month time frame.

Vorhes recalled that changing the section from adopt the cityís proposed forecast to take action on the cityís proposed forecast, that Lane County has taken action, but it has only been a Lane County Planning Commission recommendation, but not final action.   He said there is a good argument under the Metro Plan the city of Eugene will have to adopt it too.  He doesnít think the take action argument gets very far because the statute states taking action on the citiesí proposed forecast for the urban area calculated under the first or second subsection of the statute, is the method used by the city of Springfield and Eugene to separate the whole urban area and to separate out the numbers for the Springfield side and the Eugene side.

Sorenson asked if the motion gave direction to Land Management.

Laird indicated for 16.400 where the population forecast should be housed in the Comprehensive Plan, he thought the quickest way to get this would be to keep it in the PSU Coordination Population Forecast that will be brought to the Planning Commission on May 19.  He added that if this comes as a separate item and they have to start over to renotice, it might come after that point in time.

Richardson explained that it works to have this conversation at the next meeting in May.  She said the Board didnít need an order, they could give direction to have that policy discussion as part of the Public Hearing in May.

Vorhes stated that putting comments into the record at the Springfield City Council consideration of the Metro Plan amendments is a separate issue from what process the Board wants to use on the PSU study and how the Board wants to adopt it.  He said having that conversation as consideration of the report makes sense because it gives everyone an opportunity to speak to the issue.  He explained that part of the reason for lack of clarity is to give this Board flexilibility in how it does its business.  He said moving the PSU report into the land use arena is an appropriate place instead of directing staff to start another long range planning effort to clean up 16.400.

Fleenor recommended taking the motion off the floor and directing staff to work out arrangements to have a joint session with the Lane County Planning Commission where they hear the Portland State Population Forecast and have this discussion in a Public Hearing during that time.

Dwyer said his intent in seconding the motion is that he believed the population study by small cities should be adopted in a special purpose plan and not as part of a PAPA.  He wanted to adopt that in order for a small city to adjust their population, it has to be through a special purpose plan.

Sorenson stated the motion has been withdrawn.

Handy wanted to make sure the public and cities are on a level playing field and doing a special purpose plan gets them away from the quasi judicial aspect of things.  He considered holding off on this.

Richardson commented that the fastest way to do this would be to do it in a May hearing.

Laird stated that he will contact the  Planning Commission to see if they can come in during the day.

Stewart thought his colleagues have prepared items that he was not privy to.  He wanted to have a better conversation on this matter.  He thought it was more appropriate to say if they are going to jump off to change a process that they have more information prepared.  He didnít know the process but he said the rest of the Board did.  If he said if that is good government and that is how the Board is going to operate, it disappoints him.  He said when people pay for fees, they should be able to go through a legimate process.  He commented that if they donít care for the state law that deals with whether or not someone could adopt the safe harbor, it is an issue they should take up with the legislature, but for them to arbitrarily take off on a tangent to try to change is inappropriate.   He said for the future they should have public input, something that is fair and not orchestrated or prepared ahead of time.

Vorhes explained that if they schedule the discussion about the flexibility and where a coordinated population study done by the County should reside (and how it should be adopted as the rule calls for it), they could do it in the context of dealing with the PSU forecast.  He said that retains all the flexibility the Board has.

Handy withdrew his motion based on taking this item to a joint meeting and then coming back to the Board.

Laird said he will bring a letter back next week for the Board to review.  He noted the record was held open for two weeks.  He said they were also waiting until May, after the draft methodology came out from PSU.  He said if they  limit the discussion to the policy area of where this will be located in the comprehensive plan, they donít need the draft population figures. He thought they may be able to get in earlier.

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

None. 

8. COUNTY COUNSEL

a. Announcements

None. 

9. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR

a. Announcements

None. 

10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

None.

11. COMMISSIONERSí ANNOUNCEMENTS

Fleenor wanted Lane County to tell its story like Jackson County did. He wanted Amber Fossen to discuss this tomorrow.

12. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

None.

13. OTHER BUSINESS

Blake Letter

Cuyler made suggestions on substantive changes.

MOTION: to send the amended letter.

Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

VOTE: 4-0 (Dwyer out of room).

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 5:25p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary