December 9, 1998
REGULAR MEETING - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
6:00 p.m. - Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Steve Cornacchia presided with Commissioners Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
PUBLIC HEARING, RESOLUTION AND ORDER 98-12-9-19 Approving a Project Design Concept and Acquiring Fee or Other Interests in Portions of Certain Real Properties for Improvement of Jasper Road Extension Between Main Street and Jasper Road.
Ollie Snowden, Public Works, gave a presentation on the design concept for the improvement of Jasper Road Extension between Main Street and Jasper Road.
Snowden reported that there was public involvement regarding this project. He said in 1986, the Board appointed a stakeholders neighborhood and community group that came up with the proposal that is presented today, with the exception of a sound wall. He added if the Board goes forward, they will start in the year 2000 developing plans that require permits for wetlands, air quality and the green way. He said if they stay on schedule, it should be a two year project.
Commissioner Cornacchia opened the Public Hearing.
Paula Lambert, 5660 Daisy, #4, Springfield, stated she had concerns about the project and said she would be impacted by the roadway. She said she was concerned when she was told an environmental impact study was not acquired. She said now they want to put in a four lane highway in the middle of a neighborhood. She said she was speaking for people who couldn't speak for themselves, including people who have Alzheimer 's at the care facility that would be impacted. She said the noise and air pollution would also affect them. She added she was worried for the school children on Daisy being put in jeopardy. She said wildlife will be destroyed as their environment will be impacted. She said she wants the Board to consider an impact study.
Ronald Ingrim, 955 S. 59th, Springfield, stated he had concerns that were not addressed. He said Mt. Vernon road gets foggy and people come down the hill too fast. He said he is concerned about children crossing a road that has highway speeds. He said he was also concerned about the sounds that the road would bring.
Randy Hledik, P. O. Box 7428, Eugene, reported that with the Jasper Road extension, it would impact 12 to 15 acres of land designated for sand and gravel operation. He asked the Board to consider to add to their sand and gravel inventory as the road will eliminate their direct access from their quarry road operation to Jasper Road.
Maureen Maine, City of Springfield reported that the City of Springfield is working with Lane County to facilitate discussions about gaining donation agreements from the property owners. She said Springfield is providing additional support for the project by making significant drainage improvements to serve the project and providing credits on future transportation SDC obligations for the right-of-way dedications by the benefited property owners. She said the council requests the relocation of the bicycle lanes off the street and onto a multi-use bike path. She also suggested using the excavated dirt to construct berms. She said the right-of-way is very wide and may reduce the cost of hauling off the dirt. She said it is important that people understand about federal noise criteria and the structure of the funding allows for the project to go forward so the section in the City can be built to urban standards and not dictated by a more freeway-like federal project design. She said on behalf of the City of Springfield and Springfield City Council, she recommends approval of the proposed design with a recommendation for the bike path and use of the excavated dirt as a berm.
Mike Evans, 1071 Harlow Rd., Springfield, stated he is a planning consultant representing several of the property owners who own land south of Mt. Vernon Rd. (most of the property the first phase will go through), and they stated support for the project. He added he lives in the neighborhood and his home is located south of Mt. Vernon Rd. and 300 feet east of where the new road will go through. He said he and the property owners recommend approval of the project and do support the design in concept. He said there have been changes in design that they haven't had an opportunity to discuss. He said through the design phase, he was hoping for a better intersection that wouldn't be as impactive on the Wildish property. He said during the process it was indicated that they would have a meeting with some representatives. He thought there would be three intersections along the way and it was mentioned that that might be limited to only one. He said the main issue is that there be access provided to the individual properties as the road is constructed, that portions aren't severed. He said all the landowners have expressed the interest of donating right-of-way for the project. He said the group's position is that they are not in favor of the sound walls due to the cost involved and would support the use of berming and landscaping.
Weeldreyer questioned if an environmental impact study with the time involved would have any impact on the promised right-of-way for the project.
Evans replied that properties change hands and the property owners are all cooperative in working with the City and the County to donate right-of-way to do SDC credits and share costs in the environmental studies that are occurring now. He said they can't count on the property owners hanging onto the property over a long period of time. He said their purpose is to hold it for development and they want to see it happen in the near future.
Debbie Smejkal, P. O. Box 26224, Eugene, represents the southern most parcel. She reiterated the fact that there are several landowners interested in donating the land. She said she purchased her parcel for development and it has been five years and extending it longer will be difficult for her to keep. She said she supports the project and is willing to make donations toward the project to keep moving.
Wil Hoff, 658 S. 57th, Springfield, commended the design engineers that have worked on the project and that have listened to their concerns in this area. He said there is a tremendous amount of older people who walk from his trailer park on 57th to the stores on Main Street because they no longer drive. He added he appreciated the light at 57 & 58 with four lanes terminating into two. He said that was a major concern for the older people driving, getting onto the new road and the speeds that will be traveled. He said he supports the project because of the willingness to make it accessible to the Emerald Isle Trailer Park.
Sheralyn Levitt, 288 S. 57th, Springfield, represents the Southwest Thurston Neighborhood Association that is bordered by the Jasper Road extension on the west, Albertson's on the north, Daisy to the south and 58th Street to the east. She said she represents 30 residents. She said due to the impact of the road they are not happy. She said they have concerns about safety and the Daisy interchange with the speed limit. She said they would side with the City of Springfield that they would like to see the bike lanes shared with pedestrians. She added they are also concerned about the noise with the speed limit and wants to see the sound berms in the area from Lane Transit District Park and Ride to Daisy.
Neil Morris, 1187 S. 59th Springfield, stated he was on the stakeholders committee and said he lives on S. 59th, the area east of the proposed right-of-way and his only access to the area now is 57th down Mt. Vernon Rd., across where the freeway will be and to their area. He said there are families of all ages that live near him. He said he agreed with Mr. Evans that a sound wall of 14 feet high would be like driving down a freeway and he would like to see something else. He said the recommendation of a berm would satisfy most of the people. He said his other issue is safety. He said families go back and forth across the right-of-way but what is more important is the number of school buses that go to the primary schools and putting the children in jeopardy. He said he would like to see a light for them there.
Neil Goldsbury, 5938 Kalmia Lane, Springfield, said he is a neighbor of Neil Morris, is the neighborhood watch block coordinator and represents 60 homes in the area. He added the only thing he had to say for all of the neighbors was, no berm, no road.
Al Crocker, 725 S. 57th, Springfield, noted he is the first one to be impacted below the signal at the 57th/58th interchange. He said he bought his home in March of 1984 and at that time he was told that this was just a thought, but not a reality. He said he has rented his property as horse pasture for the last 12 years. He said he is concerned about the diversion of the truck traffic with the noise. He said he would like to see the berm with the landscape to absorb some sound. He said it will impact the value of his home in the future when he decides to sell.
Vern Cornelius, 36400 Brand S Rd., stated his main concern is the railroad crossing. He wanted to know if another crossing would be put in besides the one that is currently there. He said many times they have to wait ten or fifteen minutes for another train coming from another direction for train switching. He said traffic will become backed up and it will open up a can of worms if another crossing is not put in.
Cheryl Williams, 1283 S. 58th, stated she purchased her house in November 1988, and she had done a study on it. She said she was represented by the City of Springfield that that road would not be built in her lifetime. She said she was also in favor of some type of a sound berm.
Mike Wilson, 38322 Pengora Rd, said that the Bar S intersection is another Barger/Beltline intersection just waiting to happen. He said he concurs with the problem of a slough in there. He added he hasn't seen a lot of traffic come out of the Wildish property. He said he is in favor of the project and is happy to see the property owners will be kicking in the SDC's. He said he would like to see the project reserved for residential and/or commercial and light industrial, not retail.
Clarence Hoglund, 938 S. 59th, Springfield, stated he purchased his lot in 1993. He said he had looked for a lot for two years and located one in this subdivision. He added before he purchased the property, he went to the State of Oregon Department of Transportation on Gateway, inquiring about the right-of-way. He was told the State had no plans, there was no money with regard to developing. He said based on their information, they went ahead and purchased the property.
Snowden stated they looked at an alternative that would have connected with Jasper Road south of the Bar S connection that would have avoided the citing. He said there were two issues, one they would be creating a new crossing that would meet resistance from the PUC and if there is a move to eventually put a grade separated crossing in, they would have wasted money doing that. He added the best crossing locations are the ones that have been identified.
Cornacchia asked if in the event a resolution or accommodation with Wildish properties, if the crossing and realignment, would be designed and built so as to allow for above grade crossing down the road.
Snowden replied it was and they designed the interim crossing so they can stage the over crossing at a later date and still keep the interim project working. He said in the process of developing the project Union Pacific bought out Southern Pacific and the indication from Union Pacific was that it was a substandard site.
Cornacchia reported the Board will take this up again next week.
Dumdi noted she received a letter from Mrs. Higgins and she suggested taking whatever trees or shrubbery that need to be removed for excavation on the project that might be possible to transplant.
Cornacchia stated it is a County project but it is inside the urban growth boundary of Springfield and a significant amount is within the City limits. He said as far as the decisions go for Mt. Vernon Rd. north, it is something the City of Springfield needs to assume the responsibility for, making the choices of what type of sound mitigation. He added the City of Springfield needs to step up and be responsible for what happens. He said he would support the decisions made from Mt. Vernon Rd. north.
Maine said because there are Springfield citizens in the residential area, they appreciate the involvement. She said they prepared noise data, looking at other city streets that are developed to urban standards and she will get the Board that information.
Cornacchia stated if the Board makes the choice that because they don't believe the level of traffic will create the problems that were brought up at the opening of the project, every year their Capital Improvement Project goes under a new review by the Commissioners in February. He said that is the time when people can come in and give feedback. He stated these decisions are not final from the standpoint of a physical facility. He added opportunities are ongoing every year for improvement and decisions to be made.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Cornacchia closed the Public Hearing.
Cornacchia noted that at the next meeting they would be discussing railroads, gravel pits, lights on Mt. Vernon and on 57th and sound mitigation.
There being no further business, Commissioner Cornacchia adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.
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