BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
12. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 01-2-14-11/In Matter of the Petition for Vacating Marcus Jessen Road (County Road Number 732) Located in Section 19, Township 17 South, Range 4 West and Section 24, Township 17 South, Range 5 West of the Willamette Meridian (17-04-19 & 17-05-24).
Bob Ezell, Land Surveyor, reported the road vacation came by way of the landowners and did not have 100% participation, but they had the necessary number to proceed. He said the road was established in 1914, and at that time, the road was a benefit for the people in the neighborhood.
Ezell stated after public announcement and mailed notices, he received two letters from landowners objecting to the road vacation. He noted one letter was from Helen Angst, representing the Estate of James Rookard, requesting postponement until after the estate has completed probate. Ezell said the other letter was from the Green Valley Hunting Club, opposing the road vacation as they use the Rookard property for training and field dog events.
Ezell explained there was an easement drawn up by interested parties, providing a 20 foot wide easement for egress and ingress of vehicles to their properties. He noted that John Goodson, Public Works Director, did not think the road was necessary for the transportation system and recommended that the road be vacated.
Dwyer asked why the road was dedicated.
Ezell responded that in 1914, the landowners in the road district, petitioned the Board to establish the road.
Wilson stated that presently a county road provides an opportunity for any of the property owners adjoining the road site as a basis for access if they want to further develop their property. She added if the Board were to approve the vacation, and the Rookard property wished to be subdivided, the ability to approve the subdivision may be affected by access through a private easement instead of a county road.
Wilson noted the petition contained a signature by Rookard. She reported he subsequently passed away and the fact that his heirs did not support this petition caused a question to arise. She said the petition contained legally sufficient signatures. She said due to that reason, legal counsel requested a public hearing.
Commissioner Morrison opened up the Public Hearing.
Robert Rookard, 89175 Fir Butte Rd., Eugene, stated he inherited 50% of the property. He said in 1973, his father petitioned the County to construct the road right-of-way and got permits to build a road. He noted the permits said he would build and maintain the road. He built the road to County specifications. He said in April 2000, Robert Neimand had power of attorney and Neimand wanted to have the right of way vacated, which is what stirred up the controversy. He said his father didnít want the road vacated as he spent time and money building the road. He had no objections over the road going all the way through.
Anthony L. Berry 89181 Fir Butte Road, Eugene, stated that Rookard did build the initial road, but there was a suit asking for half of the money to pay for the road. He said in providing this new easement, they were not requiring the Rookard property to bear any expense for constructing a new road. He added the property owners adjacent to the road had all been paying taxes as though they already owned the county road. He noted the 20-foot easement was more than adequate for ingress and egress for emergency vehicles. He said the only benefit to having the road vacated was that they were getting back something that they were paying taxes on. He noted at the time the petition was signed by everyone, Neimand was the legal representative for Rookard and he signed the petition. Berry added they didnít get the easement description to the County on time. He said because it was done, and Rookard died, it brought up not having all who had signed the petition, and it should come before the Board for a public hearing. Berry noted the Green Valley Hunting Club had no legal right to any of the property. He added their use of the Rookard property would not be prohibited by abandonment of the County right of way because it is still up to the Rookards to let them use the property. He requested that the road be vacated.
Jerry Pace, 89189 Fir Butte Road, stated he was an adjacent property owner. He thought the easement would alleviate all concerns. He added that Rookard would have a better road.
Leonard Harrington, 89165 Fir Butte Road, stated he was in support of the vacation.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Morrison closed the Public Hearing.
Dwyer didnít see where it was in the publicís interest to vacate the road. He added he didnít want the urban growth boundary to expand.
Sorenson was concerned about the fiscal impact of the decision. He thought the area may become urbanizable and another connector would be needed.
Morrison supported the vacation. She said staff had adequately identified the entire situation. She noted when the petition was originally filed there was one hundred percent support for this vacation. She added the neighbors had done an ample job in giving access to parcel 500.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 01-2-14-11.
Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Sorenson dissenting).
13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green stated he placed a copy of Senate Bill 1145 in the commissionerís mailboxes.
Regarding Senate Bill 1145, Morrison said she asked for a meeting with the PSCC to work through the document and itís implications.
Weeldreyer reported she spent Monday and Tuesday in Salem on telecommunications. She said there would be a press conference in Salem next Tuesday on telecommunications. She said there was an excellent turnout for the state legislatorsí delegation for the commissionersí dinner in Salem.
Sorenson announced that the Asian Festival would be taking place this weekend at the fairgrounds. He noted the Attorney General issued a lengthy opinion on Measure 7.
Morrison commended Rita Woodward in Assessment and Taxation as she received a call from a constituent on how helpful she was on farm and forest issues. She wished everyone a Happy Valentineís Day and a happy birthday to Oregon.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.