held Tuesday, March 3, 2009

APPROVED 4/29/2009


A joint elected officials meeting with the City of Springfield, City of Eugene, and Lane County was held in the Library Meeting Room, Springfield City Hall, 225 Fifth Street, Springfield, Oregon, on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. with Lane County Commissioner Chair Sorenson presiding.




Mayor Leiken welcomed the elected officials to Springfield City Hall for today’s meeting. Members of the meeting introduced themselves.


Board Chair Sorenson said the Lane County Board of Commissioners was resuming their meeting from earlier in the day. Present from Lane County were Board Chair Pete Sorenson and Commissioners Bill Fleenor, Faye Stewart, Bill Dwyer, and Rob Handy. He asked Mayors Leiken and Piercy to open their meeting.


Mayor Piercy opened the meeting of the Eugene City Council. Present from Eugene were Mayor Kitty Piercy and Councilors George Brown, Betty Taylor, Alan Zelenka, George Poling, Mike Clark, and Chris Pryor. Councilors Ortiz and Solomon were absent.


Mayor Leiken opened the meeting of the Springfield City Council. Present from Springfield were Mayor Sid Leiken and Councilors Christine Lundberg, Terri Leezer, Dave Ralston, John Woodrow, and Joe Pishioneri.  Councilor Wylie was absent.


Board Chair Sorenson referred to the agenda which included two topics for today’s discussion: Metro Plan Overview and Economic Development Response Team. He asked staff for their estimated time on the presentations.


I.                    Metro Plan Overview.


Kent Howe, Lane County Planning Director, said about 12 minutes for staff presentation, then time for questions.


Mr. Howe presented a power point presentation. He noted that during the last JEO meeting, they discussed the following five Lane County issues: 1) Annexation Policies; 2) Metro Plan Description of Urban Services; 3) perceived Citizen Disenfranchisement; 4) Jurisdictional Autonomy/Metro Plan Boundary Adjustment; and 5) Dispute Resolution Policies. Direction was given for a subcommittee to meet and report back today, but the subcommittee was not able to meet during that time, so staff would be presenting an overview of the Metro Plan, following up with the subcommittee’s work later in the month.


Today’s JEO presentation would include background, Metro Plan, emerging issues and conclusions.


Mr. Howe discussed Oregon Senate Bill 100 which was passed in 1973 which required jurisdictions to adopt comprehensive plans which established the concept of urban growth boundaries. Statewide planning laws required comprehensive land use plans, locally coordinated and consistent with state goals. There were five metro areas in the State of Oregon: 1) Eugene/Springfield Metro Area; 2) Portland Metro Area; 3) Salem; 4) Bend; and 5) Medford. Lane County had the rural comprehensive plan which applied outside the metro plan boundary and outside the urban growth boundaries of the other 10 small cities in the County. The jurisdiction of Lane County was all the lands outside of city limits and the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan outside the urban growth boundary and Metro Plan boundary.


Mr. Howe said there had been formal planning efforts in this area since 1945, with the formation of the Central Lane Planning Commission. In 1959, the Central Lane Planning Commission developed the first development plan for Eugene and Springfield. The 1972 to 1990 plan was adopted. In 1973, Senate Bill 100 passed requiring the Comprehensive Plan and in 1982 the Eugene/Springfield Metro Plan was adopted, followed shortly after with the County’s adoption of their rural plan. The Metro Plan had gone through a couple of periodic reviews since then. In 2007, HB3337 required separation of the urban growth boundary (UGB).


Mr. Howe said citizens inside city limits were represented by their respective City Council. Citizens in the area within the Metro Plan UGB were represented by the Lane County Board of Commissioners. Land available inside the UGB’s had been available for development to try to prevent development outside the UGB. At this time a single UGB existed, but with HB3337, each city would have its own UGB and separate inventories.


Springfield Planning Manager, Greg Mott, said the underlying premise for everything in the Metro Plan came from the fundamental principles in Chapter 1 of the Metro Plan. He summarized those principles. Even though the Metro Plan was designed to provide a twenty-year time horizon for growth and development change to occur, it also needed to remain a timely document. The State required an update every once in awhile. Each community could also develop refinement plans for neighborhood planning. The Plan diagram was a graphic representation of the goals and objectives of the Plan. The policies in the Plan, in Chapter 3, were the things used to make decisions regarding development. Although it seemed that some of the policies in the Metro Plan conflicted with each other, that was part of the balancing act that was inherent to the comprehensive planning process.


Mr. Mott said the current Metro Plan was in its third iteration and it was now on the verge of a fourth amendment. He explained the effect of HB3337 and that each City would have their own UGB. Each city would be responsible for all actions that occurred inside each UGB, such as land inventory and provision of services, as well as preparing a Local Transportation Plan in order for the land use inventories to be developed. Another affect was the abolishment of the Lane County Boundary Commission, who had been the authority for annexation for the two cities. Now each city was responsible for their annexation procedures. Something else that tied in with this was the Little Look process that was done at the State level. He further discussed how each city would be obligated to comply with State land use laws within our UGBs, and relying on Metro Plan policies to establish that they were consistent with State goals. Where there was a conflict, the Metro Plan needed to be amended. Currently, the Metro Plan didn’t included two separate boundaries.


Mr. Mott discussed service provision in relation to public safety and libraries. The Metro Plan as it was now hindered standing services through service districts, as it relied on the cities as the service providers. There was no law that prohibited that, but had been left in the Plan. Another element from HB3337 was that each city needed to have their own population forecast to comply with the law and that we determine we have a twenty-year inventory of land. He pointed out that we did not currently have rural reserves in this county. Urban reserves, located outside the UGB, were a requirement in the law that could apply here, but only if certain standards were met. The designation of urban reserves would be the first area considered if expanding the UGB. Each city had developed an independent Transportation System Plan (TSP) that would support the land use planning currently underway in HB3337. Also, the cities, in partnership with Lane County, Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) and the City of Coburg, were developing a Regional Transportation System Plan (RTSP) that would take the place of the current TransPlan.


Lisa Gardner, Planning Division Manager from the City of Eugene, said some of the issues outlined by Mr. Mott related to the Metro Plan from a land use perspective, while others may have connections to the Metro Plan, but were much broader relational issues. She discussed some of those regional relationship issues.


Ms. Gardner said some of the issues included how services were provided in Lane County, both urban and rural; how services were defined; and how services were delivered and paid for. Urban services defined by the Metro Plan were key services, such as water, sewer, fire and schools. There were also key urban services in the Metro Plan for land use decisions on how and where we would grow. The County also provided several services, such as animal control, sheriff, prosecution and many others. These services were used by both city and county residents. The question before the JEO members, was how to continue to fund and deliver these services countywide, both urban and rural.


Ms. Gardner referred to many regional partnerships that were not tied to the Metro Plan, but were important in terms of quality of life. These included regional decision-making and dispute resolution through the Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC). Jurisdictional autonomy was another issue the elected officials had expressed interest in discussing further. She discussed the jurisdictional boundaries.


Ms. Gardner said the planning framework in the Metro Plan identified many of the relationships between jurisdictions. Regardless of the form the Metro Plan took, the relationships still existed, some in the Metro Plan and some in other plans. There would always be both formal and informal relationships. There would always be decisions made that would affect one another. If they continued to look at how to efficiently provide services, those would be formally and informally codified through special districts, the Metro Plan, transportation plans, etc.


Ms. Gardner said in conclusion, the issues emerging were broader ranging issues. As the group started addressing some of the issues, it was important to identify problem areas and identify a broad range of solution sets or options. Some of the issues would find resolution within processes already in place, such as HB3337, while others may need new processes. Staff would provide the information the elected officials needed to proceed.


Board Chair Sorenson said staff had provided an excellent overview of the situation. He suggested going around the table for comments or questions.


Commissioner Stewart said he had no questions at this time.


Commissioner Fleenor referred to Ms. Gardner’s presentation regarding identifying a broad set of solutions. They needed to ask why they were doing this, and what was the purpose. He would like to look at whether or not we had a system that worked and addressed the constituents’ needs. More or less it was, but the bigger question was whether or not the jurisdictions were taking care of the individual constituents in the different metropolitan areas. There were many philosophies that caused a lot of friction and friction caused distrust. He was more interested in what they were trying to accomplish as a group of three public bodies, who they represented and what their needs were. He believed in jurisdictional autonomy, but questioned whether or not the Metro Plan offered that flexibility. He asked if the Metro Plan gave the ability to adapt and if it was agile. Most of the answers were ‘probably not as good as it could be’. Possibilities included fixing the Metro Plan or preparing two separate Comprehensive Plans. As policy makers they needed to look at the big picture and determine what they wanted to accomplish as efficiently and effectively as possible. He would prefer two separate plans that allowed flexibility.


Councilor Clark said he liked the way they were considering tackling one problem at a time. As times changed, priorities also changed. He appreciated Commissioner Stewart’s letter in the paper today. There were a lot of issues around the Metro Plan regarding provision of services and a lot the group could talk about, but he felt discussion on regional coordination on public safety should be a priority. He supported working together to address that issue.


Councilor Ralston asked about the results of the Little Look.


Ms. Gardner said that was a compilation put together by Betsy Shepherd, the consultant the jurisdictions worked with a couple of years ago.


Councilor Ralston said he agreed with the following statements from the agenda packet:

·                     The Metro Plan should be reviewed collaboratively as parts of it seemed outdated or too restrictive.

·                     The Metro Plan is less relevant today and could warrant further collaborative review.

·                     The Metro Plan could better meet the current and future needs in the areas of housing, buildable lands and UGB’s.

He felt that the Metro Plan either needed to be changed to make it more agile, or they needed to look at two separate Comp Plans.


Commissioner Handy referred to staff discussion regarding HB3337 and the options to either amend the Metro Plan or amend our actions. He asked for further explanation.


Mr. Mott said currently the Metro Plan had a single UGB and there were a number of references to that in the Metro Plan. The assumptions about the inventories for Eugene, Springfield and Lane County were based on areas within the single UGB. There would now be two distinct UGBs, so that information in the Metro Plan would need to be changed. Each City would be making changes that would substitute that information. When he said they would be using the Metro Plan policies to guide our compliance with the Statewide goals, he meant they would be working succinctly on inventories and would be subject to the rules and goals for those inventories. The development of that would be based on policies that were in the Metro Plan unless instructed to adopt different policies. There were decision points along the way for elected officials, about how that work would unfold and how it would affect the Metro Plan. We were under no obligation to maintain to the current structure if the elected officials chose another structure. Regarding HB3337, there would be a package with recommendations of changes in the Metro Plan for the new reality in Springfield regarding inventories.


Commissioner Handy discussed the economic opportunity analysis Springfield was undergoing and how it related to nodal development.


Mr. Mott said the analysis regarding commercial and industrial inventories assigned a certain level of employment opportunities to nodal development sites. The number of sites the City currently had achieved some satisfaction of that demand. Other sites could be designated to accommodate. He explained some of the factors that could affect nodal sites, such as transportation. The residential lands study also attributed a certain development with minimum flow.


Councilor Pishioneri said the presentation made a lot of sense. The Metro partnership was important and he didn’t want to lose sight of that. The key was to get through the five issues and get rid of some of the clumsiness of the Metro Plan by way of refinement plans. That allowed each city entity to retain some control while still meeting the needs of the whole. He felt they could eliminate the current issues through refinements plans.


Commissioner Dwyer said three or four years ago, the County Commissioners sent a letter to the cities with fifteen important questions and did not get a response. They were now dealing with those issues. They talked about the preservation of farmland, but the Metro Plan had saved no farmland. In order to preserve farmland, they needed to get rid of the phrase ‘developed and committed’ from the Metro Plan to allow the City the latitude to allow a producing farm to exist in an urban setting. He felt the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) did not support that concept. The cities didn’t want to amend the Metro Plan so the cities would collect the park SDC’s inside the UGB, but they wanted control over building and development in those areas. They needed to walk the walk and have a plan of what the problems were. The cities needed to work with the County to meet their needs and not just the needs of each city. He discussed the concept of charging the citizens for highest and best use and how that didn’t encourage use other than development. He felt the system was broken. He would prefer to identify two to three things over the next 6 months, then two or three more, and put some time constraints to address those issues. He wanted to identify how farmland could be preserved. He felt Eugene was the biggest user of farmland in the Willamette Valley and would like to find ways to preserve that land. He was unhappy with the process.


Councilor Taylor said the system was broken and they needed to rebuild farmland. She thought the most important thing they could do was save farmland and put rural reserves into place. They would need food close to the people. She didn’t understand increasing the UGB because they would eventually all meet up with each other leaving nothing in between. She recommended two books, Geography of Nowhere and World Made by Hand.


Board Chair Sorenson asked about the relationship between the Metro Plan and new legislation that had been introduced to create an Area Commission on Transportation (ACT), which the State may require.


Mr. Mott asked Transportation Manager Tom Boyatt to respond.


Mr. Boyatt said there was no legal relationship. There was not a requirement in the law for ACTs to be created, but it was something the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) had been promoting. It was another way to coordinate transportation decision making at the programming and project level. There might be some policy overlap.


Board Chair Sorenson asked Mr. Boyatt to send an email to the elected officials regarding the status of any legislation dealing with ACT.


Mr. Grimaldi said the City may not be in the best position to do that as it was unclear where the bill started.


Assistant Public Works Director Len Goodwin said there was something in legislative counsel, but it had not been introduced. He said he would send out an email regarding that issue.


Board Chair Sorenson asked about the relationship between the Metro Plan and the economic development function of the cities, Chambers of Commerce, Lane Metro Partnership, Lane Community College, and Lane Council of Governments (LCOG). He asked if there was an economic development function in the Metro Plan.


Mr. Mott said Chapter 3 of the Metro Plan included an economic element, which was a requirement of Goal 9. There had been changes to Goal 9 with respect to communities having an economic opportunities analysis and economic strategies incorporated in their Comp Plan, and the relationship between the land that was needed for employment opportunities and attributes of that land. The analysis of the opportunity the community had to bring jobs would develop economic strategies and land use applications, development standards, financial policies etc. The existing elements in the Metro Plan were fine when it was written, but things had changed. They hadn’t consulted the Metro Plan regarding the economic element in a number of years.


Board Chair Sorenson said since the Metro Plan was written, new things such as sustainability had come to the forefront when considering economic activity and making decisions. He asked if they could change the name from economic development to sustainable development in the Metro Plan, incorporating some of the concepts of sustainability. He asked if that could be done under current land use codes.


Mr. Mott said the elected officials in this community had a lot of latitude on how to address the economic development interest, as long as they were consistent with Goal 9. It could be renamed whatever they chose and they could have policies in the individual jurisdictions that didn’t need to be in a Comprehensive Plan. At a higher level, if it was an either/or scenario, it could be more problematic. Staff was available to tell the elected officials what the law allowed them to do.


Board Chair Sorenson said the elected officials could possibly make such a change if all agreed. He asked about the timeline leading up to the separation of the UGB’s.


Ms. Gardner said Springfield was about a year ahead of Eugene in terms of amendments for the UGB change. Springfield would establish its own UGB, but until Eugene took action, their UGB would remain as it was today. They would work through those issues with DLCD. Springfield would have its own UGB prior to Eugene establishing their own.


Board Chair Sorenson asked when the Lane County Board of Commissioners would see a proposal from Eugene or Springfield to make a change and take action.


Mr. Mott said the target date was the end of the 2009 calendar year.


Board Chair Sorenson asked if there was any controversy on where the new line would be going.


Mr. Mott said he didn’t believe there was any controversy, but before committing to that, they needed to get emergency services on board.


Board Chair Sorenson discussed public safety and said Springfield was involved in their jail project, Eugene was not and Lane County was facing difficulties in this area. He asked what the role was in the Metro Plan regarding public safety planning and how that was coordinated.


Mr. Howe said the Metro Plan spoke only to police services. That was one of the definitional questions staff would like to explore with the JEO subcommittee.


Board Chair Sorenson clarified the Metro Plan referred to police protection, not public safety, which encompassed corrections and other public safety issues. He said that showed the terminology issues over the last twenty to thirty years for many of the topics in the Metro Plan. He discussed some of the many areas that were included in public safety. He wanted to know the role the County had with the cities regarding siting public safety services.


Ms. Gardner said the Metro Plan identified services for the purposes of planning and extending the urban services into the planned area. There were other things that had relationship to the Metro Plan, but were not the land use relationships. There were things that needed to be discussed, but not all were in the Metro Plan and changing the Plan may not address those issues.


Board Chair Sorenson asked about reserving farmland. It had been mentioned that the Metro Plan facilitated growth of cites out on to the farmland. He asked what staff would recommend if the elected officials wanted to pursue a more aggressive plan to protect farmland and what type of guidance they could give regarding how to structure that discussion.


Ms. Gardner said communities around the state were struggling with trying to preserve land yet meeting state requirements for adequate buildable land. The policy makers could look at the issues and participate in the statewide dialogue regarding that issue. Some of the definitions for density were statutorily defined.


Mayor Piercy said they all had strong feelings about their jurisdictions, but also shared a lot of things that were done together. She didn’t hear anyone saying they wanted to get rid of the Metro Plan, but rather fix it. They needed to identify which questions needed to be addressed to begin that process, such as what could be changed to protect farmland. She saw the separation of the UGB as an amicable divorce and there would be some work to do. Some of the issues regarding public safety didn’t fit in this discussion, but needed to be held. She suggested looking at what needed to be fixed in the Metro Plan to address the issues such as farmland. One of the questions at hand was whether or not they agreed with the policies that governed the Metro Plan and if not, which ones they did not agree with and which ones they could add. She understood that some wanted to look at this more carefully individually.


Mayor Leiken asked staff to explain the difference between the Salem/Keizer metro area and the Eugene/Springfield metro area.


Mr. Mott said Salem/Keizer had separate UGBs, but were guided by the same policies regarding development so densities remained the same. There was a single transportation system for both communities and one transit provider. Their Council’s acted independently with their individual Comp Plans. They also had more than one county involved.


Mayor Leiken clarified that the Bend metro area only included Bend and the Medford metro area only included Medford. He discussed his disappointment with the Big Look that was recently concluded. He was concerned the Metro Plan would be diluted. With the implementation of HB3337, the major components of the Metro Plan would be taken out, and now each jurisdiction was putting forth separate Transportation Plans. He asked if the Metro Plan would be in name only in order to save money on developing separate Comp Plans. That was fine if it was needed to save funds, avoid legal costs and be supported by DLCD. He felt they would end up developing separate Comp Plans with the title of Metro Plan. He did not want to dilute this and develop a Metro Council. He was totally opposed to that. Those were issues to consider. There would be separate autonomy between the two cities. Future elected official, could decide to move toward developing separate Comp Plans.


Councilor Lundberg said she totally agreed with Mayor Leiken and was fine with having a discussion whether or not the Metro Plan was a viable document. There was now a method to deal with Fire and Life Safety, water and sewer and other metro services. Once they had separate plans and separate UGBs, there wasn’t much left. There would still be times when they would want to collaborate and cooperate when appropriate, but she wanted to know what the jurisdictions wanted to do with the Metro Plan. Some of the issues such as farmland and sustainability may not all lead to the Metro Plan.  Autonomy was very important.


Councilor Zelenka said the next meeting needed to be more specific, with a conversation about the threshold of questions the Mayors mentioned. They needed to talk about specific fixes within this conversation. He asked staff to work on focusing the issues by calling their elected officials. He noted that he had grown up in the Bay Area where there was no planning, and felt that planning had served our area well and prevented a lot of bad things from happening. He was concerned this would go to an anti-planning conversation. He would like staff to work on focusing this conversation for the next meeting.


Councilor Pryor said he could live with whatever was decided.  The outcomes created less friction than the process. They needed to come up with a clear outcome, a way to get there and how they would govern how we got there. They needed to work hard to reestablish trust and accountability. He wanted respectable interactions along the way.


II.                 Economic Development Response Team.


Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz said the planning for this item came out of a meeting with the Mayors and Commissioner Fleenor regarding economic development and job creation. They thought there could be value in creating a JEO subcommittee to have a coordinated effort around this topic, recognizing each jurisdiction would pursue some independent job creation and economic development, but that there was also value in coordination around this issue. The subcommittee could be represented by elected officials and coordinated through Springfield/Eugene/Lane County (SEL). They could help to form an economic development summit and could be used to help form some of the coordinated responses for stimulus packages. That coordination was already happening at the staff level. It could also help plan for some regional coordination around specific economic development tools and what they wanted the region to look like in the next economy. They were not asking to solve all of those issues today, but to get support from each jurisdiction to assign elected officials to work with staff to coordinate those efforts.


Board Chair Sorenson asked what staff was asking of the elected officials.


Mr. Ruiz said they were being asked to appoint a couple of elected officials from each jurisdiction to be part of this subcommittee.


Mayor Piercy said she was very supportive and they had three councilors who were interested.


Mayor Leiken said they had not identified elected officials yet to serve on this, but he was interested in pursuing. After discussion with the Council, they would identify two members to participate.


Commissioner Stewart said it was a good suggestion, especially in the current economic times. They did need to be ready for any stimulus funding.


Commissioner Fleenor said he brought this before the Board a couple of weeks ago and received support. He had volunteered to be part of this subcommittee, along with Commissioner Stewart. He was prepared to move forward. They would like to try to answer some of the bigger questions and get the policy makers engaged.


Councilor Clark said he was interested in participating.


Councilor Poling said this was far reaching outside of Eugene and Springfield. Any discussions needed to address or involve leaders from the other communities in Lane County. He discussed the closure of the motor home factories and the effect it had on the whole region. He also suggested inviting real business leaders that had run successful businesses for years to the summit.


Councilor Ralston asked what this subcommittee would be doing that would be different than Lane Metro Partnership or the Chambers.


Mr. Ruiz said the Chamber had more focused interest in supporting local businesses. The elected officials represented the political leadership for the jurisdictions. Having them lead the charge was important. He didn’t know if Lane Metro Partnership could change quickly enough to the changing landscape.


Councilor Zelenka said he liked the concept and thought an economic summit was a good idea. The Lane Workforce Partnership had agreed to facilitate this summit and he felt they should be drawn in to help. The smaller cities didn’t have staff available to participate, so this would most likely be metro driven.


Councilor Pryor said he supported Mr. Zelenka’s comments and bringing in people that had knowledge and experience. The region’s workforce was what brought businesses to our area, so it made sense to include the Lane Metro Workforce.


Commissioner Handy said the idea of being ready to go in the next 12-18 months as the economy changed was important. He appreciated the last four comments and questions. He would like the Board to have a more focused discussion on this topic. The County was also going through some changes and was trying to focus the energy of their efforts and make sure they were clear where they were targeting their efforts. They had been told recently that there may be 13-14 economic development functionalities of the County.


Councilor Pishioneri said he thought this was a good way to go. Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) could also be called in as an outside agency.


Commissioner Dwyer said this was a great idea great regarding reviewing opportunities. He didn’t want to duplicate the services of the Chamber and the Lane Workforce. It was best to coordinate and take advantage of the federal stimulus. He thought it would be a good idea to have a sunset date. Springfield’s Community Service Manager John Tamulonis knew more about economic development than most of them would ever know, as well as Jack Roberts and others.


Board Chair Sorenson said Eugene knew who they were going to appoint, Springfield was going to appoint someone after discussion, and Lane County was supportive. He would like to see a rough draft of what this group would be discussing to help identify which commissioners to appoint.


Mayor Piercy said the longer spent talking about this, the less able they would be to act quickly. This subcommittee needed to be moving forward now.


Mayor Leiken said the Lane Metro Partnership had a database, information and direct contact with DLCD. The elected officials could use the bully pulpit, use the information from the Lane Metro Partnership, and move forward, with a six month sunset.


Commissioner Handy asked if they could get this on their agenda in two weeks to discuss and address.


Councilor Clark said he was supportive of moving ahead quickly. The elected officials could do something the other organizations couldn’t such as deal with the regulatory environment the businesses were operating under, which Springfield had done so well.




Councilor Fleenor noted that the County Administrator was not part of the motion.










The Springfield and Eugene City Councils adjourned at 1:39pm.


The Lane County Board of Commissioners recessed at 1:39pm.


Minutes Recorder Amy Sowa   



Sidney W. Leiken    






City Recorder