BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’

REGULAR MEETING

February 23, 2011

1:30 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 3-15-2011

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson present.  County Administrator Liane Richardson, County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

13. PUBLIC HEARINGS  

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING / SETTING THE FINAL HEARING/ORDER 11-2-23-13/In the Matter of Annexing Territory Within the Boundary of the Blue River Water District to the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) to Allow the RFPD to Provide Fire Protection Service to the Annexation Territory. (File No. F UM 2011 – ANX 1, Blue River) (Final Hearing 3/16/11)

 

Stewart explained the purpose of today’s hearing is to take testimony and evidence from the public to aid the Board of Commissioners  in its decision to approve, modify or reject the resolution calling for annexation.  He said if the Board decides to approve or modify the resolution, they will adopt the order setting the final hearing date on the annexation for March 16, 2011.  He indicated that evidence and testimony should be directed toward the approval criteria.  He noted that testimony not directed toward the approval criteria may be irrelevant to the decision. 

 

Stewart asked if there were any ex parte contacts or conflicts of interest.

 

Bozievich, Leiken, Handy and Sorenson had none.  Stewart declared that he has had conversations with Mr. Bonini and Mr. Jones on the process of how to bring this to the Board.  He didn’t have any discussions on the merit of the case and he believed that it wouldn’t cause a conflict by hearing this item.

 

Stephanie Schulz, Land Management, explained the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District Board is requesting an approval of annexation of territory to allow the fire district to allow fire protection services to land in the boundary of the Blue River Water District.  She indicated the two districts have agreed that to provide improved and expanded fire protection services, the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District would be the preferred provider.  She said by Election of November 2, 2010, the water district terminated its ability to provide fire protection services contingent upon annexation of the territory within the water district boundary to the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District.

 

 Schulz reported the community of Blue River is a developed and committed exception area and is identified as an unincorporated community in the Rural Comprehensive Plan.  She added that Blue River is not located within any city or urban growth boundary.  She noted the application petition was filed on January 21, 2011 and was deemed completed on January 24.  She stated as required by ORS 198.800(1)(b), this Public Hearing date was set for February 23, 2011, not less than 30 days or more than 50 days after the date of the petition’s filing.  She indicated that legal notice of the required hearings was published in the Register Guard Sunday February 13 edition and notices were posted on Friday November 11 in three public areas.  She indicated Mr. Bonini contacted her and indicated a clarification  was needed about a posted notice.  She said there were three places in the notice where the date was posted and there was a discrepancy on a couple of them.   She indicated that Bonini corrected the notice and provided copies and put additional notices around the community and other public areas, ensuring the citizens are informed of the opportunity to speak directly to the Board.  She noted under ORS 198. 810(2), the Board makes an initial determination of whether to approve, modify or reject the resolution requesting annexation.  She said if the resolution is approved or modified and approved, the Board will set a final hearing to consider whether there have been a sufficient number of requests for an election on the matter under ORS 198.8103.  She stated the Board may not order an election unless an election is requested by 15 percent of the electors or 100 electors, whichever elector is less.  She explained that after annexation into the fire district, the annexed territory will be taxed by the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District beginning in the tax year 2011 to cover costs of additional fire protection.

 

Schulz indicated the decision criteria was addressed in the findings attached to the order and in the agenda cover memo posted on the web.  She stated the criteria has shown to be met by the applicant.  She noted after the Board hears testimony, the Board sets the final hearing for March 16, 2011 to consider only whether a request for election has been made by a sufficient number of electors and after  conducting the final hearing, the Board would sign an order annexing the territory of the water district to the rural fire protection district.  She added the proposed board order would become effective when signed.

 

Stewart explained that this is an opportunity for those present to enter information into the record verbal or written.  He said the Board will consider as part of the record any written materials related to the application submitted prior to or during the Public Hearing.

 

Schulz indicated that they did not receive any written materials prior to the hearing.

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.

 

Ken Jones, stated that he was available for questions.

 

Norm Michaels, Volunteer Fire Chief with Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District, explained that these are two small volunteer fire departments trying to come together to have as much economy of scale as they can.  He indicated by merging departments there could be better service and they would be able to access resources over a broader area and reduce duplicative services.

 

Harry Bonini, supported the measure.  He said he has been a resident of the Blue River area for over 40 years.  He said the annexation is something that has been a long time coming.  He stated that this was a win-win situation for the upper river residents and for Blue River.  He recalled for the November 2 election there were 69 people who voted for it and 19 voted against it.  He commented that was the biggest turnout of any election that anyone could remember.  He indicated it was overwhelmingly seen as a good thing.

 

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

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-2-23-13.

 

Bozievich MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.

 

VOTE:  5-0.

 

b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 11-2-23-14/In the Matter of the Dedication and Establishment of a Public Road Within Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA) as a County Road, Located in Section 7, Township 18 South, Range 2 West and Section 12, Township 18 South, Range 3 West of the Willamette Meridian.

 

Michael Jackson, Land Management, indicated that this is a request to approve an order for a dedication and establishment of a County road.  He added that this is an existing road.  He said the area of the request will be an extension of Seavey Way and it was already established as a County road in 1931.  He noted that Seavey Way provides access to Mt. Pisgah and to the Howard Buford Recreational Area.  He recalled in 1989 the Board approved bringing certain Park roads into the County road system in order to have maintenance.  He said the road was originally on the 2004 CIP list and was pulled and put on a maintenance list project.   He added in order to save money, they did a chip seal overlay.  He stated that it creates a safer access to the nursery, horse arena and for other permitted Park functions.  He indicated that all of the required notice has been provided and they are recommending approval.

 

Sorenson asked Jackson if he received an e-mail on the topic of the road in the Park.

 

Jackson indicated that he had not received it.

 

Sorenson read the e-mail from Chris Orsinger.  He noted the letter asked for the Parks Department to have discretion to control access to the North Bottomlands area of the park using the gate to be kept where it is currently located.

 

Jackson indicated that he has an application for a facility permit that was issued in 1997 for the gate.  He believed the people do not want the gate opened.  He said there are no plans for removing the gate or opening it up.

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.

 

Anna Lawrence, Eugene, recalled she wrote Stewart about four years ago about the speed on Seavey Way.  She indicated there are now signs for people to slow down for horseback riders but people don’t.  She recommended not taking down the gate.  She added that if they police can’t take action on vandalism that does occur, she wouldn’t recommend opening the gate to the further acreage.  She was still concerned about the speed.

 

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

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-2-23-14.

 

Leiken MOVED, Bozievich SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

14. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Handy announced the Board will be meeting with Children and Families at the Serbu Center.  He noted the Siuslaw Watershed Council is having a meeting tonight.

 

15. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

(Commissioners' Conference Room)

 

Per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.

 

16. OTHER BUSINESS

 

ORDER 11-2-23-16 /Providing Input to the Oregon Legislature for Budgetary Priorities during the 2011-13 Biennium. 

 

Richardson explained that Lane County has not yet taken an official policy on the Mental Health Facility and the Junction City Hospital.  She indicated that the Ways and Means Committee has indicated they are opposed to the facility and might use the budget bill to try to derail it.  She stated that it is important to Junction City for jobs.  She said the Board is being asked to take a position on the Junction City Hospital. 

 

Sorenson stated that he wanted to slow this item down.  He didn’t want to take a vote if it was not necessary.  He said there is a conflict at the state about how much additional funding should be placed into an institutional type setting like a state hospital and whether they should be going in the direction of putting people into the facility or to try to have a more community based mental health program.

 

Richardson indicated that there is a new update that reduces the number of beds the state is requiring.  She said it is now down to 174 beds.  She said the Ways and Means Committee is meeting and there are members who tried to use the budget bill to derail it.  She said with two down weeks, Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager,  wanted to know if the Board has a position on this.

 

Bozievich stated that he distributed to the Board the 2010 Revised Forecast of the need for state hospital beds.  He noted page 2 deals with the reduction from 350 beds to 174  beds.  He explained that they are planning on increasing the number of beds for community geriatric, the aging mental health population that needs to be housed and community based forensic beds, people who are there for reasons of criminal behavior.  He indicated part of the conclusion of the report is they cannot operate the forensic beds built in Junction City in the smaller facility at a reasonable cost.  He noted there is an economy of scale for having a larger facility.  He added that they went through a siting process that ended up with the Junction City sites.  He said there has been no other siting process for anywhere else in the state. He added the facilities in Portland and Pendleton are not currently meeting federal standards for treating the mentally ill.  He commented that leaves them open to being taken over by the federal government.  He stated that not moving forward with this hospital is putting the state at a significant risk legally.   He said based on the revised forecast, this is something that is desperately needed.  He wanted to see them take action supporting this today.  He noted the OAC Committee on the State Hospital recommended supporting this and he agreed.  He said this is already underway and they should move forward with it.  He said if they move forward with the Board order, to change the number of beds from 172 to 174.

 

Leiken agreed to continue supporting the hospital.

 

Handy said he will support this.

 

Stewart was supportive of this.

 

Sorenson indicated that he will be supporting this.  He asked Richardson if Cuyler could prepare a resolution on Community Based Mental Health funding. 

 

Richardson said she heard at least three commissioners indicate they support Community Based Mental Health funding.  She will contact Cuyler on this item.

 

MOTION : to approve ORDER 11-2-23-16 .

 

Bozievich MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.

 

VOTE:  5-0.

 

ORDER 11-2-23-17/Adopting Positions on Legislative Issues during the 76th Legislative Session

 

Richardson explained that HB 3280 would allow large wineries to have full service restaurants on EFU land, provided that the restaurant is subordinate to the primary use of the land.  She indicated that the Board is being asked to take a position on this bill.  She said staff’s recommendation is to support.  She said a question came up by Matt Laird, Land Management if a land use appeal could come in front of the Board.  She said the board would be the decision making body.  She consulted with counsel and if the Board felt there was a conflict, they could bump the hearing to LUBA so they wouldn’t actually have a conflict.   She noted this is not a bill to any specific winery.  She indicated that this is a legislative recommendation.

 

Laird indicated that the house bill specifically creates a third tier of winery.  He noted the current ORS 215.452 describes the small wineries as wineries producing less than 50,000 gallons and wineries that produce between 50,000 gallons and 100,000 gallons, but it doesn’t say anything for a winery being larger than that.   He said if a winery creates more than 150,000 gallons, it would be a larger tier of winery and a full service restaurant would be allowed.  He added that food service would still apply to the other two tiers below it.  He noted HB 2341 is different, it is more specific to temporary events and activities on farm uses, and not specific to wineries.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-2-23-17.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Bozievich SECONDED.

 

Handy wanted the Board to come to consensus around their approach.  He thought it was awkward for the Board to pass this today and then when they have the discussion of possible ex parte contacts in a future appeal that they might have a divided Board around moving it to LUBA.

 

Assistant County Counsel Andy Clark explained in the appeal the Board would be bound by the facts of that case and the law that applies.  He added the legislation is a change to the law.  He indicated it wouldn’t enter into the Board’s analysis.  He said the Board could decline to hear the matter and it can go straight to LUBA on an appeal.  He didn’t think there was a conflict.

 

Stewart stated it was premature to be having this conversation.  He said they don’t know the basis of the appeal or the facts.  He said they would base their appeal on what is being presented.  He added the decision may never even go to the Board.  He was supportive of the legislation and he wants to see it pass.  He thought they should advocate moving this forward.

 

Bozievich stated that he has a possible conflict.  He indicated he is a Tower Club Wine member at King Estates.  He added that Ed King had made a substantial contribution to his campaign.  He noted the contribution came late in the campaign and he was on record before then of supporting changes in the EFU zone.  He supported this applying to all large wineries, not just King Estates.  He supported the house bill.

 

Sorenson said he made a motion in support of the bill because he believes in the state of Oregon some people think it is inappropriate to have restaurants at wineries in Exclusive Farm Zones.  He takes the opposite view.   He thought it was an important public policy.

 

Leiken concurred with Sorenson.  He added this has statewide significance.  He indicated the Oregon wineries are trying to export their product around the world.  He commented that if this is a way to get people to come into Lane County, then it makes a lot of sense.  He supports this recommendation.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 2:45 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary