BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSí

REGULAR MEETING

December 1, 2010

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 1-12-2011

 

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

 

10. PUBLIC HEARINGS  

 

a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1250/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land from "Rural" to "Rural Commercial", Rezone that Land from "RR-2/Rural Residential" to "RC/Rural CommercialĒ; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 07-6215; Lavoie) (NBA & PM 11/10/10).

 

Fleenor stated that this decision is subject to plan amendment and rezoning criteria cited in the agenda cover memo and attachments, evidence and testimony must be directed toward the approval criteria and failure to raise an issue to enable a response may preclude an appeal to LUBA.

 

Jerry Kendall, Land Management, explained that this is a change to Commercial for eight acres in the rural unincorporated community of Blue River.  He said originally there were five tax lots proposed in front of the Planning Commission that went down to only the three easternmost tax lots shown on the map as a result of the Planning Commission meeting.  He recalled that during the meeting there was a wide spectrum of opinions voiced and the end result for the Planning Commission was recommending approval of the plan and zone change for only tax lot 300.  He noted the other two lots before them are vacant.  He added that lot 300 has all the improvements.  He indicated that it is the old Forest Service facility in Blue River.  He noted on tax lot 300 is a main office building and cabins that Land Management considers legitimate dwellings.  He said there are two other buildings including an old gas station.  He noted the planning director considered the five buildings  lawful whether they are in the current Rural Residential Zone or if there is a provision that says if the zone change is granted, that anything allowed under the former zone is allowed in the change zoned. 

 

Kendall indicated that one of the sticking points for staff was the main building that fronts Blue River Drive.  He said Land Management recommended that as a legitimate office use for the facility, but learned late in the process that the applicant has converted part of it as a bunk area for guests to use overnight and gathering room for guests and that doesnít meet land use code or building code.  He said their solution was to do a parallel track and they are going to hold compliance in abeyance and monitor as long as they pursue it in a diligent manner to resolve the issue.  He said if the Board grants the plan and zone change, there is talk about what the applicant is going to do with the vacant lot.  He indicated that   the applicant talked about putting in an R.V. Park.  He noted that neither the County nor ODOT had any concerns on any traffic situations.

 

Kendall stated the findings were slightly edited by staff.  He said the applicant lists all of the approval standards.  He thought most of the support for the application is tourism.    He indicated the Planning Commission held a public hearing and later deliberated and they had two motions.  He noted one motion was to approve the five whole tax lots proposed and that was voted down 5-1 with one abstention.  He noted the second motion was to approve the proposal only on tax lot 300.  He said the Planning Commission recommended just rezoning for tax lot 300. 

 

Kendall indicated there were 30 letters provided to the Planning Commission, 16 were opposed, 14 were in favor and two additional letters came in yesterday and they reiterated the concerns that were already expressed at the Planning Commission.

 

Fleenor said this is an opportunity for those present to enter information into the record.  He said only persons who qualify as a party may appeal the Boardís decision to LUBA.

 

Fleenor asked for any Ex Parte Contacts.

 

Dwyer and Sorenson had none.

 

Stewart had contact but none toward this application. He recalled that over the last two to three years he has been working with Mr. Baker from the community.  He said he was told about a whole rezone of the Blue River Community and this property was the instigator of looking at the community.  He said it was an ex Forest Service piece of property, used as an administration building and housing for employees.  He said it didnít have any zoning, it was a public facility.  He added that there are other facilities in the area with the same situation.  He said they wanted to look at Comprehensive Rural Zoning and maybe  a commercial sewer system.  He added that they wanted to find a way to elevate some redevelopment of the community and have something for people who live there.  He said he has been part of that discussion.  He said this was not specific to the application.  He stated that he has no bias.

 

Handy and Fleenor had none.

 

Commissioner Fleenor opened the Public Hearing.

 

Jim Mann, Eugene, said he is working on the application with the property owner Chris Lavoie.  He distributed information.  (Copy in file).  He noted Goal 2, Policy 15 specifically is applicable to the McKenzie Watershed.  He said under that, it says recreation and tourism are few of the multiple uses of the McKenzie Valley and are important to the economy of the communities in the McKenzie Valley.  He stated that recreation resorts are one way to promote recreation and tourism in the McKenzie Valley and should be allowed in compliance with the requirement in Chapter 16.  He indicated that is what is being proposed.  He said it is a recreation type resort development.  He said instead of looking at other ways to provide jobs for people in the McKenzie Valley, (like new industry or commercial development like in the city of Eugene,) the policy recognizes that the basis for economic development in the McKenzie Valley Watershed is recreation and it encourages and promotes that.  He thought the applicantís proposal was consistent with that portion of the policy.  He noted (e) of the policy states that a new rural public facility, commercial and industrial development within the  McKenzie Watershed shall be located inside unincorporated rural communities or outside in existing areas that are planned and zoned for commercial uses.  He indicated what is being proposed is to locate the new commercial development inside the rural community of Blue River and there is an opportunity by locating it in the community to encourage other commercial businesses in the area to benefit from the use at the same time.  He added that it also provides economic employment opportunities in the community.  He noted that Policy (c) indicates and Stewart talked about the septic problems in the Blue River area.  He indicated that Policy (c) talks about either coming up with a solution for individual septic systems or a more aggressive approach to update the community plan and look at a community sewer for the Blue River area.  His client would like to help and be part of it but at the same time he canít wait indefinitely to try to let that happen first.  He thought there was an opportunity to promote economic development in the Blue River area and to encourage a more comprehensive look  of the sewer by zoning this property as commercial.

 

Mann stated the policy states a Rural Commercial Designation shall be applied to existing uses presently zoned for commercial activities addressing the same criteria as listed for the Rural Residential Designation. He said the diagram shows the location is immediately adjacent to Downtown Blue River and it is a logical extension of that area.  He noted they have a report from Branch Engineering and they have analyzed the property for the proposal and indicated in their viewpoint that the land could provide adequate area for sewage disposal.  He noted there is a letter from the Blue River Community Water District indicating that they can provide service.  He said before this letter, the Forest Service building was one of the biggest water users in Blue River.  He stated they have a transportation assessment impact report from Branch Engineering indicating the road system in the area is capable of handling the anticipated uses.  He indicated that ODOT has no  problem with the proposed development.  He stated they have a statement from Lane County that the overall transportation system can handle the proposed development.  He stated the exhibit indicates that when the applicant comes in for a special use, there will be a design requirement for driveway access and some road improvements.

 

Jim Baker, Vida, asked the Board to recommend approval of the zone change as it will help the destitute community pull itself up out of poverty.  He noted there is a serious decline of septic infrastructure.  He said the proposal is within the Blue River Development node.  He said the Blue River Water District has recently been upgraded and improved to better serve the district.  He commented that without the zoning it will remain impossible to pull a commercially zoned property on the east side of Blue River out of slum conditions.  He said without the resort there will not be any public wastewater treatment facility or attraction to draw basic business support to the commercial properties east of Blue River.  He said the development of the resort is a critical component of Blue River ending up with wastewater treatment.  He added that without it, there is no way the owners could afford it.  He added they would have to finance it with private funding.  He asked the Board to approve this request to help them revitalize Blue River.

 

Mike Kruse, Eugene, agreed with Baker.  He indicated there will be more employees and that is what they need to get the community back to where it was 15 or 20 years ago.

 

Rod Fouts, concurred with what Baker had to say.

 

Dean Rasmussen, McKenzie Bridge, said he owns commercial property on Blue River Drive.  He said it is a former restaurant he bought about five years ago.  He said in the last five years he has been working with the community trying to figure out a way to make the commercial property viable.  He commented that the place is a ghost town in the winter. He said they need economic upgrades to bring in people year-round to make retail viable within the community.  He said they canít get a sign from ODOT stating there is a business loop.  He stated there is no money from the state, county or the feds.  He said this kind of development with private money is crucial and nothing will happen to the community unless private money comes  in.  He supported the development.

 

Rob Miron, Blue River, stated that he owns a small business and he operates in the woods around Blue River.  He said he had dreams of bringing his business to Blue River.  He said it is difficult without any other tourism attraction to the community.  He thought  Lavoieís resort is perfect to get people to come to Blue River and go recreational tree climbing.  He said this is what they need to bring companies like his to Blue River.  He was in favor of the project.

 

Julie Lavoie, stated she is for the commercial development.

 

Carol Tannenbaum, McKenzie River Valley, supported the application.  She said she has been involved with collaboration on the McKenzie River Tourism Committee.  She indicated that there were funds set aside by Lane County through the Community and Economic Development Department in collaboration with Travel Lane County to work with different interests in the McKenzie Valley to scope out marketing for tourism in their area.  She noted a second area is where they will be conducting a rural tourism studio starting in February with funds through a grant obtained from Travel Oregon to conduct the studio in the McKenzie area.  She has been involved in organizing and launching of a McKenzie River Valley Country Trail.  She stated it is part of a larger country trail that was developed in Lane County a few years ago.  She indicated that Lavoie has been involved and their key goal is to provide quality services to the visitor that will keep them coming back and staying longer.  She added the longer the stay the more money they leave in their area. She supports the zoning request.

 

Krista Shaver, Blue River, said she is a business owner and she needs Lavoieís proposal to be approved.   She commented for Lavoie to be in business means that she will stay in business.  She concurred with what Jim Baker stated.

 

Steve Cornacchia, Eugene, stated that he has helped Lavoie. He commented that people living in rural areas have to drive into Eugene to go to work.  He said public policy considerations for public policy at this time almost demand that public agencies do as much as they can.  He said the reason the Forest Service left was because of the cessation of logging and timber in that area.  He stated that Baker has been speaking to the commissioners about logging, water quality, timber contracts and changes.  He said Baker is the face of Blue River.  He hoped Lavoieís total application is what is needed by the community and to give what he suggested.

 

Diane Vorhees, Blue River, stated she is not against economic development at Blue River she is a business owner.  Her biggest concern is that she is an adjacent property owner.  She stated her privacy as been impacted by this resort.  She wanted to work to save her privacy.  She said they need septic systems but they donít need another R.V. park because they have other RV parks that are already failing.  She agreed to the commercial zoning but she doesnít want to see anything bigger come across her property until the privacy issue is taken care of.  She stated she wasnít against any development in Blue River.

 

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

 

Stewart commented that people canít meet current County construction codes to be able to build any type of facility on that commercial property.  He said if it is not being used, then there is no viable commercial property in Blue River.  He stated there have been preliminary cost figures for a community system. He thought there could be a way to combine a community system with this piece of property to help the whole community.  He agreed with most of the testimony that this piece of property is key.  He said they have an owner who wants to develop his property to move the community forward and opportunities to see progress forward.  He stated this fit the comp plan that included recreation.  He was in support of staff recommendation  to include lots 400 and 1800.

 

MOTION:  to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1250.

 

Stewart MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Handy would support moving forward with lot 300 for progress.  He said there is more information needed as to who will pay for the infrastructure that supports growth.

 

Stewart stated this application does not stand on whether there is a community system.  He didnít think that should be a criteria to base their decision.  He said there is information in the packet that states the ground is suitable for a system.  He indicated that there has been an effort in the community to try to redevelop and do a comprehensive plan to become a rural urban community and to do something different.  He said these people are trying to move forward.  He stated they need to judge the criteria.  He said they are being told the application doesnít fly on the commercial and it might conflict with current commercial.  He stated there is no commercial viable unless it is currently in use.  He stated there is no developable commercial ground in Blue River today that exists under the current codes without being lifted to the rural urban community.  He said if the Board wants to decline it that they should do it on the fact it doesnít meet the criteria of the application and not something that has to do with a potential solution for a long term problem.

 

Dwyer said they have already eliminated some of the sites.  He said progress should be welcomed.  He thought every citizen should have the opportunity to live and work and do business in their own community if they can.  He said they need to be sensitive to their neighbors and trespassers.  He said to deny the people an opportunity to invest in their community is not right.  He sees this as a step forward.  He supported this motion.

 

Commissioner Fleenor reopened the Public Hearing.

 

Chris Lavoie, said he needs the other lots because they donít have enough lodging capacity in order to make it viable  He stated there is demand for it in this area.  He said they want to add sleeping accommodations.  He doesnít want to do a high density development.  He said the RV Park came up as the highest potential for the area.  He said they are looking at putting in cabins and having the area nicely landscaped.  He stated that they are trying to attract quality people.

 

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

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.

 

b. TWELFTH READING / PUBLIC HEARING / DELIBERATIONS / POSSIBLE DECISION/Ordinance No. PA 1249/In the Matter of Co-Adopting the Florence Realization 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Associated Refinement Plans, as Applicable Within the Urban Growth Boundary Outside Florence City Limits, and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File No. PA 08-5363, Florence Periodic Review Work Tasks No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, & 8, and Updated Comprehensive Plan Map and Housekeeping Amendments) (NBA & PM 9/17/08, 10/1/08, 12/10/08, 04/08/09, 07/22/09, 12/02/09, 02/17/10, 05/19/10, 08/25/10, 09/15/10, 11/03/10).

 

c. ELEVENTH READING / PUBLIC HEARING / DELIBERATIONS / POSSIBLE DECISION/Ordinance No. 7-08/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 10 of Lane Code to Revise and Add Provisions for the Interim Urbanizing Combining District (/U) Applicable Within the Florence Urban Growth Boundary (LC 10.122-10, 10.122-13, 10.122-14, 10.122-15, 10.122-30) (File No. PA 08-5142, Florence) (NBA & PM 11/05/08; 12/10/08, 04/08/09, 07/22/09, 12/02/09, 02/17/10, 05/19/10, 08/25/10, 09/15/10, 11/03/10).

 

Stephanie Schulz, Land Management, explained that this Public Hearing was scheduled from a meeting of November 3, 2010.  She said the record has been left open and there has been no testimony added since the last hearing.  She indicated that staff has not received any new input from the Florence City Council.  She indicated that the city of Florence will not be participating in the hearing today.

 

Commissioner Fleenor opened the Public Hearing.

 

Dan Stotter, Corvallis, asked for the Board to approve the modified Florence Realization 2020 Comprehensive Plan with three minor changes that were prepared by County Counsel at the request of the Board.  He said the three changes would remove the background section that had some inaccurate information about septics being a problem for the north dunal aquifer.  He said the city said there was no evidence of septic contamination and removing the background information would have no legal affect.  He clarified that a majority of consent for annexation is a majority of electors, not any other type of majority that is not as democratic as a majority of electors and for the County and city to have a joint role if ever necessary for health abatement annexation with the Oregon Health Authority.  He said all of the changes are positive and he recommends the Board approve the modified 2020 Plan at this time.  He thought the proposal was strong and solid and the Board should move forward.

 

Dwyer asked if they adopt it and the city is not there, how they would resolve their participation or lack of participation.

 

Stotter responded that one possibility is the city of Florence would realize that they could have a co-adopted 2020 Comprehensive Plan by simply making those modifications.  He said they could make the changes and everyone would have the same language.  He added that a second possibility would be that this could be a vehicle for further discussions and could motivate something to happen.  He said the third possibility is if there is an impasse for purposes of annexation outside of the city limits, the old plan would apply annexation policies for the County.  He said what is unacceptable is the current city language that they fixed by removing inaccurate information.

 

Scott Bartlett, Eugene, discussed the history of the process of Florence government.  He cautioned the Board to try to incorporate a fair procedure process.

 

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

 

MOTION:  to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1249.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Vorhes said the three changes were included in the reading of Ordinance No. PA 1249 when they did the work in August and have been part of the reading at each meeting since then.  He said it is a substantive change but it was incorporated into the previous readings.  He said the Board can now act on them.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.

 

MOTION:  to adopt Ordinance 7-08.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.

 

11. HUMAN RESOURCES

 

a. DISCUSSION/Evaluation Process.

 

Madilyn Zike, Human Resources, discussed the evaluation process for the County Administrator,  County Counsel and the Internal Auditor.  She indicated it is outlined in the Administrative  Procedures Manual.  She thought they might want to add customer focus, community engagement, problem solving and innovative thinking and accountability.  She recommended adding them to the six criteria they already have for the County Administrator.  She said the next step is  to give her direction to finalize a process for the County Counsel.

 

Handy supported adding the qualities to the evaluation.  He said the County Administrator should have quarterly feedback sessions with the commissioners and their employees so there could be adjustments that could preclude more in-depth interviews.  He said there needed to be flexibility.

 

Zike provided an overview of what they do for current employees.  She said they are administrated by the County Administrator  in the Administrative Procedure Manual.  She said they are linked to a probationary period of six months to a year depending on their position.  She added they are linked to merit increases.  She said they can be done on an as needed basis.

 

Handy asked how they are doing with job descriptions.  He asked if it was taking place in negotiations with the bargaining units.

 

Zike said they need to review them with the bargaining units. She said some of the job descriptions link to performance appraisals in the area of competencies.  She doesnít see an urgent need to move on this.

 

Handy asked if Zike could help HACSA with the Countyís similar goals.

 

Zike said if the Board chooses to do that she can.  She said it might take time for her to accomplish that task.  She stated she currently doesnít have any staff in HR to assist with this.  She said she would have to do it herself. 

 

Dwyer thought they had to get the process for the Board first before they apply it to HACSA.  He said HACSA doesnít pay any indirect and they wouldnít get reimbursed for the time she puts in with HACSA unless they contract with the County.

 

MOTION:  to add to the qualities to be evaluated: customer focus, innovative thinking, accountability, community involvement, problem solving and blend them with the essence of the draft policy and bring it back for review in two weeks.

 

Handy MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

           

Per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for consulting with legal counsel on current litigation to be filed.

 

15. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 3:35 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary