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November 24, 1998
REGULAR MEETING BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Harris Hall 1:30 p.m. Main Floor

Commissioner Steve Cornacchia presided with Commissioners Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

10. PUBLIC WORKS

a. FIFTH READING AND ACTION Ordinance PA 1121 Amending Lane County General Plan Policies (an element of the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan) Goal 4 Forest Lands, Policy 5 to Allow Limited Dwellings on Lands Zoned Non-Impacted Forest Lands, F-1 and Adopting a Savings and Severability Clause.

b. FIFTH READING AND ACTION Ordinance No. 4-98 Amending Chapter 16 of Lane Code to Adopt New Provisions to Allow Limited Dwellings on Lands Zoned Non-Impacted Forest Lands, F-1, and Provide Siting and Fire Safety Standards for Those New Dwellings, and Adopting a Savings and Severability Clause (LC 16.210, 16.270).

Cornacchia announced he has accepted an offer with a corporate law firm in Eugene and will be doing agency, land use and real estate work. He said there are two considerations he had to take into account regarding his participation on this issue. He said it is a legislative matter and there is a question as to whether or not the comments he is making have a legal foundation. He said it comes down to whether there are disciplinary rules with the Oregon State Bar that come into play and whether there are rules under the statutes of government ethics. He noted with the disciplinary rules of the Oregon State Bar, lawyers are prevented from representing individual clients who have an interest in a matter that that lawyer significantly participated in as an elected official. He also said government ethics statutes dictate that elected officials cannot participate in matters they know they would have a present or future financial interest in. He said the representation of people that may come before the Board would be a financial interest to him. He said with those two considerations, there is enough questions about the appropriateness of his participation. He said at this point he is not comfortable with the ethical considerations to continue to participate in a decision. He added what the commissioners have tried to accomplish is the right thing. He said if he didn't have this conflict, he would vote for this measure in its present form. He said the ordinance puts Lane County in the position of having the most restrictive application of House Bill 3661 in the State of Oregon. He said there is some merit in the suggestions made to the Board that they have so altered the original ordinance that there is a significantly different ordinance. He said the public hearing process will allow a complete airing of fact. He suggested with his abstention, that today there are not enough requisite votes to pass the ordinance, however the measure and exercise are important enough that it should continue in public debate. He suggested to hold a Sixth Reading and set a Public Hearing on the ordinance and give the public an opportunity to see the true ordinance and effect. He added it is important for staff to respond to some of the considerations about costs. He said the Board can work with staff and come up with legitimate exercises to show what will be obtained. He added his successor voted for House Bill 3661 and was very supportive of it at the time. He suggested not holding a public hearing until March so the new commissioners can be given all the information.

Sorenson said given the requirements on commissioners who are also lawyers, he thinks it is commendable for Cornacchia to take this view. He said it is important if the Board will be taking action today, he would oppose the idea for setting the matter over into the future at this time.

Green reported Weeldreyer is ill today and is unable to be present. He said he didn't want to take a vote without her being present because she has clearly stated her position. He added it would be ill-advised if the Board didn't allow her to weigh in. He said the other issue is holding a public hearing on this ordinance to give the public the opportunity to respond to it. He said he is comfortable letting this go to the new Board.

Dumdi stated it would be her last opportunity to address this issue. She said she has made her position clear and for people to say the Board has changed things dramatically is untrue. She said the only thing that was changed was not allowing access off of BLM and Forest Service roads and allowing houses more than 1500 feet off of a public road. She added cost is not a factor for the taxpayer, as the owners of the property pay for the costs. She said with fire prevention, it is up to the property developer to expend the cost. She said it has been unfair that one commissioner continues to get targeted as there are also two others who are in agreement with him. She said she spoke with Weeldreyer today and Weeldreyer was very concerned about private property rights of her constituents in the rural area, as is she. She said it was mentioned earlier that the County has another ordinance coming up right behind this one that will allow campgrounds and RV parks in F-1. She said they took action this morning that definitely precludes that kind of activity. She added she is sorry this has gone so far, but she is for the ordinance moving forward to March.

Cornacchia stated he did not think it was right for the Board to ignore Weeldreyer and not pay her the appropriate respect to have her included in a decision. He said hearing the support from two of his colleagues to pay respect to Weeldreyer, to allow her to continue to participate in a matter in which she has been very involved with, he will support a motion to set a new reading and public hearing next year.

Sorenson stated he doesn't oppose Weeldreyer participating in this decision. He said if it could be set for the next meeting when she could be present, that would be most appropriate. He said he had the experience of being on the Board when a public hearing was held and record was acquired by the previous board. He added in order to meaningfully participate in the Board's deliberation, he had to listen to many hours of audio tapes in order to participate in a decision. He said he is concerned that if the Board continues the matter into the future, there will be an issue of what record and what proposals have been made up to now. He said it is his sense that the Board wants to have this issue looked at anew with a public hearing. He said he is suggesting by having a record vote either today or next week, at a time when everyone will be present. He said he views the participation of the Board members as very important.
MOTION: to Set a Sixth Reading and Public Hearing for the first meeting in March for Ordinance PA 1121 and Ordinance No. 4-98.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.

Kent Howe, Land Management, reported on the direction of the Board has been since 1994, to provide the Board with alternatives, addressing the major stakeholders' interests and concerns on the impacts that they may have regarding fire standards and road siting standards. He said he has come back to the Board with those and was instructed not to get into a detailed analysis that would be dealing with the legislative debate that occurred in Salem in 1993. He said staff has been able to work within very limited budget constraints to provide information about the proposal and its impacts in the F-1 zone. He said if the proposal is to go into March with another reading of this ordinance, educating the new commissioners (on the facts and impacts under the assumptions that he had been working with to date), there is an erosion of limited staff resources from doing other priorities the Board has given. He said he wants to make it clear that if this moves into a legislative black hole, there will need to be a work program to do the detailed analysis to calculate the number of specific dwellings that qualify under the different options. He said for the hearing in March, he can bring to the new commissioners the ordinance that is before the Board. He added staff can spend time with the commissioners-elect and inform them of the facts and legislative intent of the F-1 zone.

Cornacchia stated when he made a suggestion for additional staff work, it was in response to suggestions made by public comment that he found not supportable. He said another body needs to make determinations and requests for additional information and analysis instead of this Board, unless they are willing to identify resources and apply a work plan. He said he is not in the position today to do that. He said it would create a sixth reading and public hearing for the first meeting in March.

Dumdi said that Sorenson wants them to vote today, but they don't have enough votes to make it stick, there is not a quorum, it wouldn't pass and doesn't make sense to take the additional action.

Sorenson said with regard to setting the motion into March, he would be more inclined to set it over a week and have the full Board discussion. He said as far as setting it over into March, he wouldn't be in favor because there is a record that justifies a no vote on the whole issue. He said there is a new Board coming on in January and it is better for everyone concerned to have the people that are making the decisions hear the evidence submitted at a public hearing. He said there is a lot of work in the first few months for the new commissioners to do, without injecting a major issue like this. He said he believes the future will hold great promise for evaluation of the cost and benefits of growth in this community. He said it is a great victory for those who urged the Board to have caution and provide for the livability of the community.

VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

11. OTHER BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, Commissioner Cornacchia adjourned the meeting at 2:25 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary

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