BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

February 18, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 3/4/2009

 

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

 

11. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 09-2-18-9/In the Matter of Receiving Comments From the Public About Community Development Needs, Proposed Projects to Meet These Needs, and Lane County's Performance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Projects.

 

Cristina Rosado, Economic Development, reported that they are receiving comments from the public about community development needs.  She explained that Lane County is an eligible applicant for Community Development Block Grants and funds from the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and Oregon Housing and Community Services.  She noted the CDBG funds come from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the grants may be used for community public facilities, public works, economic development, housing rehabilitation and regional housing centers on behalf of  low and moderate income people.

 

Rosado noted that about $14 million will be awarded for Oregon non-metropolitan cities and counties in 2009.  She added that the maximum grant a city or county could receive is $1 million.  She said the County is considering applications for CDBG funding from the state of Oregon for eligible community facilities, public works, or housing projects that primarily service low and moderate income people.

 

Rosado explained that there are two separate application processes for CDBG funds.  She said one is the Housing and Community Service Department for housing related projects and the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department for all the other CDBG projects including public works, community facilities and economic developments.  She indicated that Lane County may have up to three open CDBG projects from OECDD at any one time plus one open housing project from OHCS.  She said that Lane County has two open CDBG grants:  the Mapleton Water System Improvement Project and the Blue River Water System Improvement Project.  She added that Lane County submitted an application for CDBG funding in the final round of 2008 for the Row River Water System and as of this time, they have not been awarded the funding.

 

Rosado said Lane County grants will be closed out by OECDD by March 31, the application deadline but they are not sure it will be closed by the March 2 housing application deadline.  She commented that if the Board chooses to submit four housing funds, they should include a request to waive the limit on the number of grants they could apply for based on the age of their open grants.  She said they anticipate that Lane County can apply for three additional CDBG grants in 2009, plus one grant for housing.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened the Public Hearing.

 

Sandy Halonen. Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation, Eugene, supported the regional housing center in Lane County.  She indicated that the grant is for two years for $48,000 per year of CDBG funds.  She reported that they have been running the housing center for several years.  She noted that this is the first year  they have been funded by Oregon Housing and Community Services from non-CDBG funds.  She added that they have to go through the CDBG hearing process in case they need to use CDBG funds.  She said the regional housing center works on all kind of housing issues including providing outreach, information, homeownership education, pre-purchase counseling and foreclosure counseling throughout Lane County.  She added that they work with about 1,200 households every year.  She stated that 15 percent of households are located in rural areas.  She asked for the Boardís support of CDBG funds.

 

Anne Williams, St. Vincent de Paul, said they will be applying for $400,000 in CDBG owner occupied rehab funds from Oregon Housing and Community Services.  She said they will be targeting the Blue River area and areas on the McKenzie Watershed where there are significant rehab issues. She said they will be working with USDA Rural Rehab and Lane County Housing Authority and EWEB to provide weatherization funding.  She said they are estimating that there are 44 income eligible households who reside in owner occupied substandard units in the target area.  She commented that they will have a greater response for need than they actually have in grant funds.  She noted that since 2002, they have spent $2.7 million in CDBG owner occupied funds and over $800,000 has been in targeted unincorporated Lane County areas.  She hoped the Board would support the Blue River drainage project.

 

Peggy Whalen, Womenspace, Eugene, asked the Board to consider a placeholder for a CDBG grant.  She said they currently have one of the oldest and smallest shelters in the state of Oregon for domestic violence victims.  She added that it is not meeting the needs of the Lane County community.  She said they have current immediate safety issues and capital improvements that have to be done on the current building in order to continue to serve women.  She said if there is not funding to build a new shelter, they would like to have the Board consider a CDBG grant so they could improve the heating system so it is safe for women and children.  She asked for the Boardís support.

 

Craig Opperman, Looking Glass, said they are the largest non-profit provider in behavioral health care in the county. He was concerned about homeless and runaway youth.  He said they served over 1400 runaway and homeless youth in their program last year.  He said they provided shelter to over 150 homeless youth and they anticipate the numbers will be increasing this year.  He said they need to continue to expand the facility to meet the needs of the youth.  He said they have been undergoing remodeling for the past year.  He noted that the cost of remodeling has been more expensive than their funding and the building had a fire.  He said they still need to expand and improve their facilities for youth.  He requested $300,000 for the New Roads Facility project.

 

Shawn Winkler-Rios, Eugene, Executive Director, EDEV, said they will be submitting a non-entitlement CDBG grant through Junction City.  He wanted to get the resolution in front of the Board.  He added that this will not affect the three open grant limit.  He said it will allow them to serve Lane County.  He indicated that micro enterprise is an allowed use in CDBG funding.  He said if they can get additional micro enterprise dollars to enhance their programs in Lane County, it would be beneficial.  He indicated that there is a large demand for dollars but the amount of money is small to meet the demand.

 

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

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, explained that each of the projects were eligible for Community Development Block Grants.  With regard to the three open grants, McKenzie-Bahr said it did not matter what the size of the grant was.  He indicated that traditionally NEDCO does not compete, they have their own funds.  He added that if NEDCO had to compete for housing, they would still be under the limit of what they could apply for on housing.  He hoped  NEDCO would get their funding separate from the regular CDBG process.  He added that the St. Vincent de Paul project would not compete with any of the other projects.  He said Womenspace and Looking Glass projects would come out of the same pot of funds in the process.  He said the caps would be $800,000.  He noted that funding for St. Vincent is  $500,000 and funding for NEDCO is $60,000 the first year and $48,000 in the second year, but they asked for $48,000 for each year.  He indicated that the Lane Micro Business application would not compete with any of the current applications.

 

Stewart asked if Womenspace and Looking Glass could be combined under one grant and if the Board could support  the request.

 

McKenzie Bahr said if there are programs that overlap; the two separate projects could be considered one project.

 

Fleenor concurred with Stewart.  He wanted staff to work with the applicants to see if the projects could be combined.

 

McKenzie Bahr said if the Board were to list all four projects in the Board order, it would give them the latitude to maximize the number of projects and the amount of dollars they requested.

 

MOTION: to put in all four projects, combining Womanspace and Looking Glass to show a connection in ORDER 09-2-18-9.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart. SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

 

12. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. ORDER 09-2-18-10/In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear an Appeal of a Hearings Official's Reconsidered Decision Approving in Part, and Denying in Part, an Application for a Recreational Vehicle, Boat, and SelfĖStorage Facility in the Rural Residential Zone (RR5), Map and Tax Lot T18-R03-S24 Tl 4600 (File No. PA 07-6721/McCabe).

 

Rafael Sebba, Land Management, reported that this is a five acre parcel located one mile east of Goshen on the south side of Highway 58.  He added that it is within the Rural Residential Zone.  He explained that this application is for a recreational boat and self storage facility, including 115 R.V. boat storage units and 384 self-storage units with a total floor area of 79,000 square feet.  He recalled that the planning director denied the application and the applicant appealed the decision to the hearings official.  He indicated that the hearings official initially affirmed the planning directorís denial, finding that the proposal was inconsistent with Statewide Planning Goal 14.  Sebba said in applying Goal 14, the hearings official found that there are implied size limitations that the proposed facility exceeds, based on Oregon Administrative Rules for unincorporated communities. Sebba indicated that the applicant again appealed and requested the hearings official reconsider his decision.  Sebba said upon consideration, the hearings official reversed his decision, approving the R.V. boat storage component of the facility but denying the self-storage component.  Sebba said the hearings official changed his reasoning and found that Statewide Planning Goal 14 was in fact not applicable and  the R.V. boat storage facility in the Rural Residential Zone is not subject to size limitation based on language in Lane Code.  He indicated that this reconsidered decision has been appealed by an area resident. 

 

Sebba said the Board must decide whether or not to hear the appeal.  He said pursuant to Lane Code 14.600, the Boardís three options are:  to hear the appeal on the record, to not hear the appeal and remain silent on the hearing officialís reconsidered decision, or to not hear the appeal and affirm and expressly agree with the hearing officialís reconsidered decision.  He said the planning director recommended the Board hear the appeal because the issue is of countywide significance, given there is rural residential land throughout the County and similar facilities will be proposed in the future.  He said the policy guidance now will proactively address future proposals.  He said if the Board elects to hear the appeal, staff recommended a hearing date of April 1, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.  He added that if the Board elects not to hear the appeal, a new order and findings will need to be prepared and adopted.

 

MOTION: to approve the planning directorís recommendation for ORDER 09-2-18-10.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Dwyer thought it was in the publicís best interest to have a hearing on the record.

 

Sorenson agreed that having a hearing on the record would be a good thing to do and the parties will be represented.

 

Stewart supported hearing this.  He thought there were rulings that contradict one another.  He was concerned that this area was rural residential, but the recommendation is for a 79,000 square foot storage facility.  He said according to this document, Rural Commercial Zone has a 3,500 square foot limit and the limit for industrial is 35,000 square feet.  He commented that this facility is larger than what they would allow in a commercial or industrial area.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

13. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. DISCUSSION AND STATUS/Future Agenda Items:

5. WORK SESSION/Conflicts of Lane Code Chapters 10 and 16 (Identify conflicts before Work session) (LMD) (3/19/08)(July or August)

7. REPORT BACK/Energy Saving Incentives to Long-Range Planning Codes (LMD) (5/14/08)

15. REPORT BACK/Planning Review of Chapter 14 Code Amendment (LMD)(9/24/08)

21. Update/Status of Waste Management Funds (Waste Management)(1/7/09)

22. REPORT BACK/Status of GF and Road Fund Swap (PW)(1/14/09)

 

Stewart commented that all items were worthy but they donít have staff,  time or money for projects.  He said they need to allocate money for  resources.

 

Fleenor stated that the overlying theme is the concept of whether they  want citizen participation to help them with some of the code revisions.   He wanted Chapter 14 amendment as a pilot project by which  citizens or  commissioners could help modify and change the code.  He said the codes  are in need of someone making them consistent.  He didnít believe they  would have the resources any time in the near future.  He wanted to form a  citizen task force who would be able to work with staff on this.

 

Sorenson recommended a report back on April 8  for item 22.  With regard  to items 5 and 7, he didnít see staff resources.  He didnít think they should  move forward with them.  He thought they should have a supplementary  process regarding number 15.  He thought  they could get a citizen group  to bring it in to them and to hold a public hearing.

 

Handy wanted to put a placeholder on number 5 and 7.  He was also  comfortable with number 15.

 

Stewart also wanted number 5 and 7 to be put back into the work plan.  He  didnít want to give people false hopes because they donít have the staff  time to move it forward.  He thought if they move forward with Chapter  14 codes that it would take staff time.  He heard from Land Management that they are concerned  there might have not been enough cuts made  because they are still having money issues.  He wasnít opposed to moving  things forward, but they have to realize it costs money.  He was concerned about how they move things forward.

 

With regard to Chapter 14, Fleenor said they are asking for a public  hearing and at that point in time the Board could make a decision whether  to allocate resources for the actual amendment.

 

Stewart stated the cost for a public hearing  is $2,500 and Land  Management doesnít have the money for a public hearing.

 

Fleenor thought they still  needed to move forward even though they are   in a resource constrained environment.  He thought citizens could step up  to help at no charge.

 

Handy wondered how they could get to yes in working with the  community without funding.

 

Stewart thought they should ask how much it would cost for a part-time  person to work on some of the items.   He was concerned about doing  something and not being able to follow through because of funding.  He s aid that was the trust issue he was concerned about.

 

Fleenor thought they discuss this in an upcoming work session on a  Tuesday night.

 

Sorenson said item 22 was set for a report back on April 8.  He wanted the  Agenda Team to take the issues into consideration in setting future  meetings.

 

 

14. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor announced that he will be the MC of the Lane County Red Hatters for the Queen of Hearts Pageant at Sheldon Park Senior Center on Saturday.

 

Handy stated that he participated in Lane Countyís sesquicentennial ceremonies about the forgotten people of Lane County.

 

16. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

ORDER 09-2-18-11/In the Matter Authorizing Use of the Former Armory as An Emergency Shelter and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Oregon Military Department for Said Use

 

Linda Cook, Sheriffís Office,  said she is a partner with the local agencies.  She asked the Board to approve the temporary use of the Armory.  She explained that it is a County owned facility but it is currently occupied by the Oregon Military Department.  She said in order for them to access the facility as a warming center, they need to have an agreement in place that satisfies the Oregon Military Department in how they would use the space. 

 

Cook indicated that this is a pilot project and the goal is to learn what they can about establishing a more sustainable and long-term solution for the fall.  She said they are asking to be allowed to use the Armory for up to 10 nights this winter, but they might only have to open it a couple of nights.  She said they didnít want to miss the opportunity to conduct a drill to find out if they can get the volunteers in an orderly fashion.  She said the main goal is to stop the human suffering that is happening when the temperatures drop to freezing or below.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-2-18-11.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Dwyer commented that he is saddened by the fact that so many people need the centers.  He thought this was a good opportunity to do something good.

 

Fleenor stated that they are in the middle of an economic crisis and they have been postponing decision making regarding public safety, social services and other programs.  He said last week they had a debate over $30,000 because they didnít have sufficient information.  He said to be consistent, they have to maintain that position.  He wanted to roll this for a week to get estimated costs.  He asked where the money would come from.

 

Cook responded that this was not a money request.  She indicated the cost would be about $500 each time they open the Armory.  She said $480 would go to two paid staff, paying them $15.00 per hour for an eight hour shift.  She said there is no cost to the County for electricity.  She said they will learn what it will take them to sustain it for the future and that is why they proposed a short term solution.  She thought if the County canít raise the funds, the funds could be raised through a private source.

 

Fleenor said he would support this.

 

Handy wanted to see the pilot project take place.

 

Stewart reported that this came to his attention in January and it was amazing how citizens stepped up.  He thought this was a great opportunity and he was convinced that addressing the need today will continue to help people.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

17. EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Per ORS 192.660 (2)(d) for the purpose of conducting deliberations with labor negotiators.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 4:30 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary